Sausages au vin

On January 15, 2015 by battenburgbelle

Empty the freezer time has come round again – I managed to shift three items in one fell swoop, with a large pot of sausages au vin. This is always a popular one chez Battenburg. It’s a mixture of recipes and improvisation: coq au vin, chestnut bourguignon (that is VERY lovely – I think I will make some next time I have some vegetarians over). I defrosted some pancetta, a pack of sausages and a pot of chicken stock and produced this delicious dish. It should have been served with mash, but we all love a roast potato round here, so that’s what I did. This is another recipe that lends itself to plenty of flexibility with the ingredients, depending on what you have available.

Sausages au vin

Sausages au vin

I sautéd the pancetta, then separately the sausages. I’d bought some shallots for what turned out to be a bit of a disaster (see below), so I peeled most of them and fried them in a little olive oil for around five minutes. Then I added a couple of sliced carrots, two sliced sticks of celery, about 10 quartered mushrooms and fried these for another five minutes. Next I added four thinly sliced garlic cloves and two teaspoons of Dijon mustard. Then I added 300ml of red wine, 300ml of chicken stock, two bay leaves and a sprig or rosemary. Bring that to the boil, then simmer for around 25 minutes. Finally, add two tablespoons of soy sauce and boil again for a couple of minutes. I mixed about a tablespoon of cornflour with a little water and added that to get a really lovely thick sauce. Season and serve, with a generous glass of red wine. Excellent winter warmer.

So, those other shallots…

Pickled cucumbers

(Salted) pickled cucumbers

I was very excited about getting started on using my brilliant new Charcuterie cookbook, by Miranda Ballard at Muddy Boots in Crouch End – I decided to pickle a couple of cucumbers that were in the fridge. I followed the instructions – including salting and then rinsing the cucumbers. They looked fabulous and we waited the 2-3 days recommended by Miranda before trying them. On Saturday lunchtime we sat down and made a serious attempt to finish off all cheese and cured meats lingering from the festive season, so some pickled cucumbers seemed an ideal accompaniment. Which I’m sure they would have been, if I had rinsed them properly. Even Mr B, a BIG fan of salt with more or less everything, was unable to eat them. I am in no way suggesting there is any flaw in the recipe – definitely my failing. You could kind of tell they’d be good though if done properly, so I will try again soon!

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