Cider Braised Sausages

 

There’s something so reliable about a delicious portion of bangers and mash – the full, meaty sausages with smooth, buttery mashed potato smothered in a warm helping of gravy.  As far as weekday dinners go, it’s simple and effective.  However, even the most humble sausage could even do with a bit of posh dress up from time to time.

The concept here is simple – brown the bangers to seal them up and start agitating the flavour, then slowly cook them in a shallow bath of sweet, tangy cider along with some flavourful onions and other veg.  With a smattering of black pudding or bacon, you end up with sausage even more packed with flavour and one of the easiest gravies you could possibly imagine.

Ingredients

  • Thick sausages – about 2 per person
  • Black Pudding/Bacon – diced
  • Onion, sliced
  • Small handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Cider – I used Aspall, partly to honour my East Anglian roots, partly because it’s a bit sweeter than the west country varieties.  You only need around 1 small bottle.
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Dried sage
  • Cabbage – I used red, for a bit more colour
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Pour a little oil into a large frying pan and heat on high.  Add your sausages and keep turning them for a few minutes until browned all over – they don’t need to be fully cooked through at this stage.
  2. Remove the sausages and add your sliced onion and mushroom.  Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and fry for a few minutes until softened, before adding a sliced garlic clove and a tsp each of mustard seeds and dried sage.  Give a good stir.
  3. Add a smidge more oil and your black pudding/bacon.  Whichever you use, dice it beforehand for even cooking.  Fry for a couple of minutes, then pour in the cider until it’s around 2cm deep.  Scrape off any sticky brown bits on the bottom of the pan – plenty of flavour there.
  4. Gently nestle the sausages into the cider bath and place in some sliced cabbage.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes, until the cider has reduced by around half and has absorbed plenty of the flavour from the stuff in the pan.
  5. Sprinkle with some curly parsley to serve alongside your chosen accompaniments.  I personally don’t think you can go wrong with mash and peas!

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