Irrespective of what beast makes up your Christmas feast, for me the star of the show is the stuffing. My mum dutifully stuffs both ends of a turkey: forcemeat at the front and chestnut at the rear. In the days pre-Low-FODMAP, I would cheerfully forgo any meat for extra servings of stuffing. However, a life without FODMAPs and their related issues, has meant a change of heart. Also, I'm not great at getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning to get a fully stuffed turkey in the oven. Stuffing balls it is then. These will make a meal in themselves; it doesn’t have to be Christmas to whip up a plateful! Watch my 'how to' video here
As I can’t eat yeast, I use Clearspring dried rice ‘breadcrumbs’ but if you would prefer, use standard gluten-free dried breadcrumbs (check the ingredients for FODMAPs). A low-FODMAP serving of boiled chestnuts is 168g so you're well within your limits. You can cook these ahead of time: cool well and store in the fridge in a Tupperware box. Re-heat in the oven for 5 minutes after the turkey comes out. Check they are piping hot all the way through before serving.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
Prep – 15 minutes, baking 20 minutes
100g frozen cranberries
2 tbsp. water
250g pork mince (not too lean)
90g cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
Large pinch of salt flakes
1/8th tsp. ground allspice
1 heaped tbsp. finely chopped parsley
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
50g unsweetened chestnut puree
100g rice breadcrumbs
Optional ½ tsp. finely chopped thyme
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a shallow baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Gently heat the cranberries and water in a small pan over a medium heat. Cover and bring to a high simmer for 5 minutes until the berries have started to burst. Remove from the heat, add the butter and set aside to cool a little.
Mix all of the remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Start mixing with a wooden spoon and then progress to a clean hand. Add the partly cooled cranberries and continue to squish everything together until thoroughly combined. Roll into 28 marble sized balls and place on the baking sheet, spaced apart. Bake for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with some extra chopped parsley if you're feeling jazzy.