Thursday, April 7, 2011
Roasted Lamb Sausage with Grapes
My mom is one of those people who can strike up a conversation with just about anybody: in the grocery store, or the dentist's waiting room, or in this particular case, on the bus. A couple of weeks ago she came down to Boston for the day, and made a new friend of her seatmate on the bus ride back up to Maine. Her new friend, as it turns out, has a son, and the son has a brand new butcher shop up in Wales, Maine.
Seeing as Wales is only an hour from where my parents live, and having recently been introduced to the glories of braising (and consequently on the hunt for beef cheeks), Mom decided this butcher shop was worth the drive. Luckily for me, Mom understands that gifts of quality meat make my little heart go pitter pat and so she bought me a few pounds of garlicky lamb sausages while she was there.
Tonight I seared those sausages quickly, then tossed them in a baking dish and piled a whole mess of red grapes on top. Next to a pile of wild rice, they made a most excellent dinner. Thanks, Mom!
Roasted Lamb Sausages with Grapes
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg
Yes, you could absolutely use pork or turkey or chicken sausages here, just make sure they're not the pre-cooked ones. My lamb sausages were pretty narrow (hot dog size, rather than sausage size) so yours might take a touch longer to cook through.
1/2 to 3/4 pounds of lamb sausages
1 pound red grapes, stems removed, washed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil for browning the sausages, plus
2 teaspoons vegetable oil to toss with the grapes
1/2 a glass of dry white wine
pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 475.
Toss the grapes with two teaspoons of oil and set aside. Heat a 10 or 11 inch skillet (stainless steel is best, I always like cast iron for searing but you're going to pour acidic ingredients in and you don't want to mess up your seasoning) over medium high heat. Add two teaspoons of vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan, then add your sausages. After the first side browns (a couple of minutes if you've heated your pan enough, flip them over and brown the other side. Once both sides are nice and brown, remove the sausages to a baking dish.
Pour in the half glass of wine, it should steam up and bubble and hiss. Scrape up the brown bits in the pan, then shut off the heat. Put the grapes on top of the sausages in the baking dish, then put it in the oven. If your sausages are narrow like mine, flip them after ten minutes. They should be done cooking ten minutes after that for a total oven time of twenty minutes. Larger sausages will need a little more time to cook through. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and put the sausages on a plate (tent loosely with foil if you like so they stay warm). Pour the grapes and whatever juicy stuff has accumulated in the dish back into the pan you seared the sausages in and crank up the heat. Let this mess boil away for a bit until the grapes have all collapsed and the liquid has thickened. Add a pinch of salt to taste, then serve over the sausages.
We ate this with mixed wild rices, but I wish I had something green on the plate, too. Sauteed spinach or kale would have been great.