Beer is fun. And so it goes without saying that cooking with beer is also fun. Since the brew brings the flavor, you can lay off the spice drawer for a night. You can also experiment with different varieties based on season — a Corona and lime marinated skirt steak in the summer, Pumpkin ale and short ribs for Autumn (this recipe coming soon). And of course there’s the sampling while you cook…
Since it’s Fall, I went with a nice, coffee-flavored Stout, whose name I cannot recall at the moment, but you can substitute your favorite Mocha Porter (Rogue makes a good one), brown ale or a time-tested Guiness. The recipe starts with sauteed onions and browned sausages in a rather large pot. Add some sliced apples, pears, whole cranberries and a bottle of stout and pop it in the oven for an hour and a half and you’ve got a delicious Sunday supper.
Make sure you’ve got some crusty bread to mop up the beer-y juices, or serve with roasted or mashed potatoes. Either way, you’ve got a hearty, healthy and really tasty meal.
Stout-Braised Sausages with Apples, Pears & Cranberries
Feel free to use any variety of sausage, apple or pear that you have on hand.
4 large sausage links (I used Bell Pepper Chicken Sausage)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium or large yellow onions, sliced
2 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 pint fresh cranberries
1 12 oz. bottle of your favorite stout, brown ale or mocha porter
Preheat the oven to 350°. Set a large, heavy pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the onions and saute for 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the sausages and brown on each side, turning them continuously to prevent sticking, about 5 – 7 minutes.
Add the apples, pears, cranberries and stout. Give everything a good mix and pop in the oven (uncovered) for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. When the hour and half is up, turn on the broiler and brown the top for about 5 minutes. This adds a nice color and makes for a prettier presentation.
Serve with a loaf or two of crusty bread.
Makes 4 large servings.