Thanksgiving Mashed Potato and Stuffing Balls
October, 2015 · By Coryanne Ettiene
There isn’t a Thanksgiving table across the US that does not have a time honored, and much loved family recipe for an amazing stuffing and perfect mashed potatoes. But no matter how loved they both are, everyone finds themselves with left overs and that much dreaded question of what to make with them. Here is an idea, take your Thanksgiving leftovers, roll them into a ball, glaze them with butter and bake them. Essentially that is what these Thanksgiving Mashed Potato and Stuffing Balls are. Or you can call them pure genius, like I did when I first heard of the idea of stuffing balls — I only wish that I had thought of it, but now that they are in my head, I keep thinking of variations, like the Thanksgiving Burger, but I’m sure that has been done before too.
The gaminess of the turkey soaked into the stuffing just calls out for a bit of pan fried bacon, but to keep the prep quick, I use chopped pancetta instead, and then use the fat drippings mixed with a spot of melted butter to drizzle atop the stuffing balls. Baked to perfection so that the outside is lightly browned and crispy, but the center is soft and moist giving you that earthy taste of the stuffing, pancetta and Russet Potatoes all rolled into a bite of Thanksgiving left over heaven. My only advice is to make loads, because once you eat one, you might as well make yourself comfortable, they are irresistible.
Thanksgiving Mashed Potato Stuffing Balls
- 6 cups of mashed potatoes
- 6 cups of stuffing
- 1 cup of pan-fried pancetta
- ⅓ cup of olive oil or pancetta grease
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, stuffing and pancetta, and mix together with your hands to ensure that the 3 ingredients are fully blended. Once blended, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, but you may find that you need neither, as the pancetta brings a nice salty taste to the blend, and the stuffing may be well seasoned.
- Using your hands, form the ingredients into a ball about 2 inches in diameter, taking care to compact the ingredients so that they stay in the ball form. Each ball should be equally sized to ensure even cooking. And any ‘bits’ not pushed into the ball will darken or burn in the cooking process, so aim for an tray of smooth and equally sized balls. Lay each pall flat along the baking sheet, leaving a ½ inch space between them to allow for all sides to cook evenly.
- To finish, lightly apply the grease from the pancetta or olive oil across each ball. As all the ingredients are pre-cooked, you are cooking time will depend on how long it takes for them to reach that beautiful golden brown color and slightly crispy outer shell; usually around 30 minutes.