Tensions were running high in Rogate as two Americans had challenged each other as to who could make the best Christmas dressing. 

Becky Taee in the blue corner and Woody Ray in the red corner went stuffing ball to stuffing ball in a kitchen in Rogate and Noni Needs was invited to taste the results.

Becky Taee, from Petersfield by way of Connecticut and Woody Ray visiting from Arkansas had two very different recipes.

There was a taste test. Listen to hear the results.

There is a bonus inspirational cranberry recipe from Woody Ray.

Becky’s recipe: Pecan, Herb & Onion Stuffing Log


450g sausage meat

1 onion, chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

1 garlic cloves chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp or more dried thyme

1 tsp or more dried sage

Large knob of unsalted butter plus tbsp for cooking sausage

1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

50g toasted pecans, roughly chopped

Large handfuls of your favourite dried fruit, roughly chopped (I used dried cranberries AND dried apricots)

3 or 4 thick slices of day old bread cut into medium-size chunks (I used a sourdough boule)

1 egg beaten
375g streaky smoked bacon 6 fresh sage leaves


1 Melt the butter in a pan and sauté onions, celery, garlic and herbs for 5 minutes.

2 Add the balsamic (if using) and cook for 10 more minutes or until mixture is fragrant and onions have softened. Put in bowl of food processor.

3 Cook sausage in the same pan adding a little more butter and/or olive oil and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until lightly browned. Add to onion mixture.

4 Add the dried fruit, pecans and bread chunks to mixture in food processor and pulse until you have your desired stuffing consistency.

5 Using a spoon, mix the beaten egg through the sausage and bread mixture.

6 Lay out the bacon on parchment paper, overlapping slightly. Cover with another piece of parchment and roll out to thin using a rolling pin.

7 Spoon stuffing mixture into the middle of the bacon.

8 Use the baking parchment to roll into a log.

9 You can refrigerate/freeze at this stage or cook straight away.

10 Roast for 40 minutes.

11 Lay the whole sage leaves on top and roast again for 5 minutes.

Becky Taee and Woody Ray's stuffings go into the oven
Becky Taee and Woody Ray’s stuffings go into the oven
Becky Taee and Woody Ray's stuffings out of the oven
Becky Taee and Woody Ray’s stuffings out of the oven
Woody carving the Turkey
Woody carving the turkey
American style Christmas lunch
American style Christmas lunch
Christmas lunch with two stuffings
Christmas lunch with two stuffings
Woody’s Dressing Recipe
Cornbread recipe for Woody’s dressing recipe
Smoked turkey recipe