Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sausage au vin

This side of Christmas I’m generally onboard with winter. Not the cold wind whipping me off my bike, but I enjoy the annual hunker down. I’m a home person really and when it’s getting colder I do take considerable pleasure in staying indoors, shutting the curtains to the rest of the world and putting something in a casserole pot for a long slow braise. Braising is very peasant-y, I like that, it means it’s honest, devoid of pretence and it very rarely goes wrong. This casserole uses hearty ingredients, making the most of a few cheap sausages and a really good grain. So my suggestion on this Sunday evening is to get right into the hunker down with a bowl of sausage au vin.

Serves 2-3

6 good sausages (I used a Toulouse version)
1 red onion, quartered
1 stick celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
150g pearl barley
½ bottle red wine
1 pint vegetable stock
2-3 sprigs rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme leaves

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large pan or hob-friendly casserole dish, fry the sausages in a little oil until they are browned all over, then remove from the pan and set aside. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and fry the onion, celery and carrot until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a minute longer.
  2. Return the sausages to the pan with the pearl barley, give it a good stir, then pour in the wine and enough stock to cover all the ingredients. If using a saucepan, transfer the sauce to a casserole dish with a lid. Nestle the rosemary sprigs among the sausage and sprinkle over the thyme and some black pepper. Place in the oven for about 45mins-1hour until the sauce is thick and the pearl barley is cooked. Check on it halfway to make sure there is enough liquid for the pearl barley to cook.
  3. Remove from the oven and taste, sausages can be salty so you may not need any extra salt but season to your own taste.