Sausages are a versatile ingredient that, for example, can be fried up and served as a side dish for breakfast, or be cooked, sliced and added to soups, pastas, pizza and myriad other dishes. Today, though, they are the main attraction, anchoring a European-style dinner perfect for autumn.
To prepare it, you sear and then roast some fresh sausages, which could be country-style, bratwurst or other type that appeals and work wells with mustard. The sausages need to work well with mustard because that’s what’s used in the sauce served with them.
To make it, white wine is simmered and reduced in a pot. Whipping cream is then added, brought to a simmer, and cooked until it lightly thickens. Salt, pepper and whole grain Dijon mustard, which is also called old-style mustard, is then stirred in.
It’s a simple, but decadent sauce that richly accents the taste of the sausages. It also goes well with the boiled fingerling potatoes and charred broccoli I served them.
Fingerlings are small, stubby, finger-shaped potatoes, waxy and firm in texture, with an earthy, almost buttery flavour.
To make the charred broccoli, small broccoli florets were set in a large, very hot, non-stick, oil-free, skillet and cooked a few minutes on all sides, until lightly charred. A bit of water was then added to the pan, and the broccoli was a steamed and cooked a bit longer, until bright green and just tender.
The sausages were also served with braised red cabbage, which added some striking crimson colour to the plate. As you can see in the recipe, it’s a spiced, sweet- and sour-tasting cabbage dish dotted with bits of apple and currants.
Lastly, for an Oktoberfest-style meal, you could serve the sausages, cabbage, potatoes and broccoli with rye bread and beer.
The sausages I used in the recipe were about 80 grams (a scant three ounces) each, so I decided to serve two per person, because I thought one each would not be enough for dinner. However, if the sausages you bought are larger in size, or if you would prefer a smaller portion, you could certainly serve one sausage per person.
Seared and Roasted Sausages with Grainy Mustard Sauce
Fresh sausages are seared on the stovetop, roasted in the oven snd served on a pool of creamy, tangy mustard sauce.
Preparation time: five minutes
Cooking time: about 20 minutes
Makes: four servings
1/4 cup white wine
1 (250 mL) container whipping cream
1/4 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
8 fresh sausages (each about 80 grams), such as country-style, bratwurst or other type that appeals and would work with the mustard sauce (see Note)
To make the sauce, place wine in a small pot and set over medium, medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce wine until almost evaporated. Add whipping cream, bring to a simmer, and simmer until it lightly thickens. Remove pot from the heat, and then whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper. Cover sauce and set it aside for now.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Set a large ovenproof skillet over medium, medium-high. Pour in the oil. When oil is hot, add the sausages and sear until nicely browned on the underside, about three minutes. Turn sausages over and then set skillet in the oven. Roast the sausages 12 to 13 minutes, or until cooked (see Note).
When sausages are halfway cooked, set the sauce over medium-low heat and warm it up again. When sausages are cooked, pour a generous pool of the sauce on each of four dinner plates. Set two sausages on the sauce on each plate and serve.
Note: Metchosin’s Galloping Goose Sausage Company made the country-style sausages I used when testing this recipe. For a list of stores selling them, go to gallopinggoosesausage.com and click on “Outlets.” Sausages are cooked when an instant-read meat thermometer, inserted sideways into the centre of the sausage, registers 160 F (71C) or above.
Braised Red Cabbage with Apples and Currants
Spiced, sweet and sour tasting braised red cabbage is dotted with bits of apple and currants. Serve it with sausages or other pork dishes.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
Makes: four servings
2 Tbsp butter
3 cups cored and thinly shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 small to medium head)
1/2 cup diced onion
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• pinches ground nutmeg and ground cloves
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup water
1 medium apple, cored and cut into small cubes
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place butter in a medium pot set over medium, medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add cabbage and onions and cook and stir until softened, four to five minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 20 minutes, or until cabbage is tender and flavourful.
Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.