Friday, June 15, 2012

Grilled and Beer Braised Sweet Italian Sausages, Onions and Red Peppers over Garlic, Rosemary Smashed Potatoes
1 package Sweet Italian Sausage  
1 large onion, sliced or slivered
1 large red pepper, roasted, cleaned and sliced or slivered
3 cloves garlic, sliced into chips, and 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, uniformly cubed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Half stick of butter or yogurt
1 cup of buttermilk
1 large bottle or can of beer  (I used Sapporo, Japanese beer).
1 cup of chicken stock or water
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seed or cumin powder
1 - 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard or whole seed mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What to do
Wash and cut the Yukon Gold potatoes into uniform sized cubes on a chopping block.  In addition, finely chop the rosemary and three of the six garlic cloves.  Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water just until the potatoes are covered.  Bring the water to a boil, liberally salt the water, and boil them until the potato cubes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes in a strainer, add two tablespoons of butter to the pot and add the potatoes back into the pot.  Add the garlic and rosemary, the cup of buttermilk and three or four more tabs of butter.  Use a potato masher to smash the potatoes.  Note that I did not say peel the potatoes first.  I like the skin, even smashed potatoes.  That's just me;  if you are more comfortable peeling them first, feel free.  Set the pot aside. 
Fire up the grill, or, using a grill plate, set over high heat.  Using a towel or brush, oil the grill.  Add the sausages once the grill is hot.  You want real visible grill marks on the sausages all around.  The char is flavor!
In a large high-sided sauce pan or Dutch Oven, add 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (Okay, from here on out, can I please just say EVOO on all of my blogs?) over medium heat.  
Slice the onions and peppers (if the peppers are already roasted and store bought, otherwise, roast the peppers before the sausages, place them in a gallon zip lock bag, allow them to steam, remove the skin and process them), slice the remaining three garlic cloves into chips.   Open the can or box of chicken stock and open the can or bottle of beer. 
Add the garlic, onions and peppers to the sauce pan.  Allow the onions to begin sweating and softening.  Add salt and pepper and stir.  After about five or so minutes, the onions should have softened enough to begin the braising process.  In addition, the sausages should very well be grilled by this time.  

Pour some beer into a glass for yourself, or heck, if you are the only one eating, take a drink and pour the rest into the pan!  (I never said that!)  Add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cumin, chicken stock or water, and stir well, bringing the mixture to a boil.  Add the sausages into the pan or pot, snuggling them into the liquid.  Reduce the heat to medium and cover for fifteen minutes. 

Remove the lid after fifteen minutes and increase the heat.  When the liquid has reduced by half, remove the sausages to rest.  Keep the heat on to reduce the liquid further.  After a few minutes, cut the sausages at an angle.  

From here, plating is up to you.  I centered my plate with the smashed potatoes, arranged for halves on the outside of the potatoes, drizzled some of the reduced sauce (tons of flavor!) and placed the onions, peppers and garlic chips on the sides.  I could very well have placed those over the sausages and potatoes, as well.  So as I said, plating it up to you. The main thing is, ENJOY!