A favorite Thanksgiving recipe: Potato Stuffing

Saturday, November 21, 2009
I grew up in central Pennsylvania, a.k.a. the land of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The PA Dutch were German immigrants who came to central Pennsylvania, primarily the Lancaster county area, prior to the early 1800's. With them they brought an affinity for farming, cooking and baking. The grandfather of my maternal grandfather brought his trade as a tinsmith to this country. Upon arrival he was given the surname Smith, which was my mother's maiden name. Just a little history lesson and some background...

My mother and grandmothers made this recipe for, what the PA Dutch call, "filling". Most of us would know it as "stuffing". It is a departure from typical bread stuffing as it is made primarily with potatoes mixed with bread. It's a bit time consuming, but it's worth every second of effort. It's creamy texture and buttery taste are undeniably delicious. Try it. I guarantee you'll love it.

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling (makes 10 to 15 servings/recipe can be cut in half)
10 lbs. of potatoes - cubed, cooked and mashed using a potato masher (do not add milk, butter, etc.)
2 cups of finely chopped celery
2 large onions - finely chopped
Several sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley - finely chopped or 2 tbs. dried (I highly recommend using fresh)
1 lb. bread cubes or 1 medium loaf white bread cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup butter, divided
1 cup milk
3 medium eggs, beaten
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Chicken broth, as needed

In very large skillet, saute onion and celery in 1/4 cup of butter until tender. Add parsley and continue cooking a few minutes longer until very lightly browned. Remove the mixture from the skillet to a bowl and set aside. Add one stick of butter to the skillet and saute the bread cubes until lightly browned. Combine the bread cubes and vegetable mixture and set aside.

To the mashed potatoes, add the beaten eggs, 1/2 cup butter, milk, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly (adding milk if necessary).

In a very large bowl, combine the potato/egg mixture with the bread cube/vegetable mixture. Stir until well blended. Add chicken broth as needed to moisten the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into 2 large buttered casserole dishes or oven safe bowls. Dot the top with pats of butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

* The filling can be prepared a day ahead of time, refrigerated and baked before serving. Allow an additional 15 minutes for baking.


Pootsie said...

THANKS!!! We will have to add that to our menu! XOXO

Bren said...

Thanks for the recipe. I hope it turns out as good as yours and moms.