Apparently, it is the beginning of football season, and to celebrate the “kick-off” to another year of hiking, punting and slamming into each other on the field, or whatever it is they do out there, here's my tailgate contribution.
You’ve got to love tailgating. Beer in one hand, Buffalo wing in the other, it’s a time for relaxing, basking in the good vibes of team spirit and getting schwasted in a parking lot. Seeing as I’m not the biggest sports fan, the pre-game tradition is one I’ve never personally took part in, but would never pass up if I got the chance. Who cares about the game? I’ll root for any team you want me to, just pull me up a lawn chair next to your trunk.
If you’re real serious about tailgating, you’ve got to have one of those little mini grills going. For some reason, whenever I think about this my internal smell-o-vision tunes straight to sausage and peppers cooking. While I may have never tailgated myself, I have walked by them you know, and sausage and beer stick out to me as two major players. With this in mind, I came up with the idea to make a beer-braised sausage and onion dish, amped up with apples and thyme. A little fall inspiration in there too!
The beer mellows as it cooks, infusing the sausage, onions and sweet apples with delicious flavor, for a game day meal that really scores. It is simple, comforting, and can be served on a roll for optimal parking lot enjoyment.
Beer-Braised Sausage & Onions with Apple
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup beer
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
• Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned all over, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Slice the sausages in half, if desired.
• Sweat the onion in the pan, add the apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to lightly brown and the apple begins to soften. Add the vinegar and beer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze.
• Bring liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the sausages back to the pan along with the thyme. Cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 25 minutes. To thicken further, whisk a few tablespoons of flour into a few tablespoons of water, and slowly whisk into the liquid until you reach the preferred consistency. Serve on a roll, if desired.