Sausage and Apples

Sausage and ApplesThe Comfort of Apples…And Sausage
During the past few days things have gone sideways, and stress has been high. These are dangerous times, my friends, because this is when I become a comfort food, carb, and fat monster. Somehow, the food that’s bad for us makes us feel better.

Usually, I reach for the fabulous potato, followed quickly by cheese, and rounded out with pasta. But not always—sometimes it’s sausage. Can I get an amen?

Maybe it’s the fat content, or it could be the all-around yumminess? (Yep, that’s a word). Or perhaps it’s the old-world homieness. (Okay, that’s not a word.) There are times when some tasty smoked Polska Kielbasa is just the thing. Or Bockwurst. Or Garlic Sausage. Or, well, you get the idea.

One of my favorite sausage dishes is one my mother made during my childhood—this automatically puts it in the comfort food category. Mom would pan fry slices of Kielbasa with onions and apples, and serve it alongside either mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles. The flavors blend well together, and are undeniably autumnal. Occasionally, she would switch it up with bell peppers, but I always loved the apple version.

Sautéed sausage with apples come from the Norman region in France, where apples and Calvados are abundant. (Frankly, I prefer the non-calvados version.) There are many different apples and sausage recipes, from different regions in Europe.

Here is my recipe for Sausage and Apples. Feel free to improvise. I stick with Kielbasa, however you can substitute bratwurst or whatever your favorite might be.

Sausage and Apples
Serves 2 generously

3 tablespoons butter
4 fully-cooked sausages, sliced (I like Kielbasa or Bratwurst but you could use Bockwurst or your favorite sausage.)
1 medium onion, sliced
1-2 medium-sized tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and cook until they are beginning to brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add onion and apple to the sausages and cook until the onion and apple are tender and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Add apple cider and chopped thyme. Increase heat to high, and stir until liquid is slightly reduced, for about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer onion and apple and sausage to plates, dividing equally. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into the cider mixture in the skillet. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the sauce over the sausages, and serve with mashed potatoes.

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