Ah sausages. You can eat them with mashed potato. In a bun. With a gravy, or covered with a melange of sauces and onion. And then the brain blanks, the creative juices appear to be in a puddle on the floor and your family groans at the thought of these old chestnuts for dinner options. But sausages are so darn good (especially when purchased from a reputable butcher), tasty, easy and cheap. You don’t have to trim them of fat or sinew, don’t have to slice and dice, and don’t need to wash the top layer of skin off your chapped hands ensuring no cross contamination from meat juices. Never fear, there are so many ways to use this easy meat option.
When my partner and I travelled to Berlin when we were 19 and 20, we saw these little stalls that said “Currywurst” everywhere we went. Not tempted by the idea of sausages in a curry sauce, we mostly bought hot chips from these stalls. 19 and 20 are not clever ages and in retrospect we wasted a lot of time not eating currywurst, which would have helped our stomachs recover from all the beer.
Try and source some good German pork sausages like bratwurst, which are surprisingly easy to find these days.
8 Bratwurst sausages – 2 per person
1 onion finely diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
½ cup sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
- In a small saucepan, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil and saute the diced onion until translucent.
- Add the spices and allow to toast for one minute
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil before simmering for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Meanwhile grill the sausages.
- You can puree the sauce if you prefer a smooth sauce or serve it chunky over the sausages. Eat with mashed potato or chips, bread, or anything good for mopping up sauce.
The next 2 recipes are Cajun favourites, recipes originating from Louisiana in the USA’s South created by French speaking immigrants from Acadia. Jambalya and Gumbo are frequently confused and thought to be the same thing. While they both involve rice, meat and often seafood, a Jambalaya is a stew cooked with rice, while Gumbo is more of a soup or thin stew served with rice. Spiced, fragrant and delicious, both frequently use sausages.
The Jambalaya is cooked in a similar fashion to a risotto.
6 pork sausages
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 capsicum, finely diced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
I can whole peeled tomatoes
500mls chicken stock
250g long grain rice
- In a large saucepan that has a fitting lid, fry the sausages until cooked through and then remove from the pan.
- Keep the pan on heat and saute the onions for 8-10 minutes until tender and translucent.
- Add the garlic and capsicum and saute for a few minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to combine. Allow grains to cook with vegetables for 3 minutes before adding the tomatoes and stock. Put the lid on and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Slice the sausages and add to the pot. Cook until the rice is tender, adding extra stock if the liquid is running low.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve
6 smoked pork sausages sliced crosswise into 1 cm pieces
2 chicken thighs
1 onion, finely diced
½ bunch celery, finely diced
2 red capsicums, finely diced
¼ cup neutral oil plus 2 tablespoons additional
½ cup of flour
½ cup of chopped parlsey
½ cup of sliced spring onion
1 litre of chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
- In a Dutch oven or heavy based pot, heat the oil on high heat. Brown the sausages and then remove and set aside.
- Diced chicken thigh and toss in cayenne pepper before browning in the same pot. Remove from the pot and set aside with the sausage.
- Add the remaining oil and flour to the pot and stir over medium heat for about 20 minutes to form a dark roux (the base for the stew). It will be very dark brown.
- Add the diced vegetables to the roux and cook for 5 minutes before adding the sausage and bay leaves and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer uncovered for about 1 hour. Check on the gumbo regularly and give it a stir to prevent ingredients catching on the bottom.
- Add the chicken and simmer for another 1 hour.
- Remove the bay leaves and add the remaining herbs and spices.
- Serve over long grain white rice.
Sausage meatball pizza
Sausage meat can also be a handy, quick flavour booster. Sausages come in all sorts of flavours and the meat within is full of herb and spice. Split the skins and pinch pieces of sausage meat and pop them onto this simple pizza.
1 quantity easy bread dough (or your own preferred pizza base)
8 good quality sausages, pork, beef or lamb will work well (chicken ones can be a bit squishy to try and use for sausage meatballs)
½ tin of whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups of basil leaves
3 cups of grated mozzarella
- In a small saucepan, add tomatoes, sugar, pepper and salt and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees or what temperature your pizza base recipe specifies.
- If using my dough recipe, divide the dough into 4 balls and roll them into large discs on round pizza pans or a flat sheet pan.
- Brush the pizza bases with a thin layer of the tomato sauce.
- Split the skins of the sausages and dot the pizza bases with balls of sausage meat
- Scatter mozzarella over pizzas.
- Bake in the hot oven for about 15 minutes or until the base is crisp and cheese bubbling.
- Scatter pizzas with picked basil leaves and serve immediately
I love this particular recipe because it reminds me of the sausage buns that my grandmother liked to buy from Asian bakeries. She had a sweet tooth and so sometimes her savoury meals would still have a sweet bent. This recipe uses my easy bread recipe which rises quickly and is so forgiving. You can open the oven 20 times and your bread will still turn out great. These are fun for picnics and school lunches.
1 quantity easy bread dough
8 large frankfurters or 16 short skinny ones (other skinny quick cooking sausages to your taste like chicken sausages)
1 egg, beaten
- Follow the recipe for the easy bread dough.
- Once the dough has risen, scrape it onto a well-floured surface and divide into 16 balls.
- Roll each ball into a rough rectangle about 1.5cm thick.
- Place a sausage or half sausage in at one end of the dough rectangle and roll it up in the dough like rolling a burrito but with the sausage ends sticking out. Place seam down on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
- Brush the sausage buns with beaten egg and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the bread is risen and golden brown.
These following five MamaBake recipes are also delicious and fun ways to use sausages. Toad in the Hole is my personal family favourite. Just don’t make it in a loaf tin with the sausages sticking out. It…doesn’t look great.