Baked sausages with apples, onions, raisins & cider

Diana Henry: Baked Sausage with Apples, Onions, Raisins & Cider

Baked sausages with apples, onion, raisins and cider
Sometimes, beginning a day of hard work in the office, dinner is the last thing on my mind.  Other times, the whole week of meals are planned out in advance.  Yesterday was not a planned type of day.  2 packs of six sausages had been retrieved from the deep freeze and were thawing, awaiting some inspiration.

Waiting for Mr L to have his golden surf-locks to be trimmed, I browsed through pinterest to find something interesting for dinner.  I happened upon the following recipe Baked sausages with apples, onions, raisins and cider and decided that tea was sorted.

It wasn’t until today when I searched for the source of the recipe that I discovered the recipe belonged to Diana Henry.  It shouldn’t have surprised me as I have several of her books on my “want list” due to the delicious looking food she creates.

I used Calvados apple brandy and Badger Apple Wood Cider.  The recipe has been saved in our “to be made again” folder as it was better than delicious.




Savour – Spring eating

Lamb & Couscous Salad with Tzatziki

Lamb & Couscous Salad with Tzatziki
I know the first thing you are going to say to me – where is the apple in this recipe?There is no apple in this recipe.  I suppose I could sneak some in somewhere …. but apple for the sake of apple even if it doesn’t go?  Hmmm, perhaps not.

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Beetroot, Silverbeet & Apple Risotto

Freshly pulled Beetroot
Our vegetable garden is a success – the produce we are picking is the driving force of deciding what’s for tea.  The Anster advised me to hurry up and find something to do with beetroot as they were ready.  So turning to the cookbook library, a risotto sounded just the ticket.  The Anster found a nice looking recipe that seemed quite easy to execute – but I took over and found a different recipe – my recipe was way better because it had apples in it.

Beetroot Risotto with Baked Apples, Rocket and Balsamic Glaze sounded intriguing.  The ingredient list seemed straight forward enough – I didn’t have rocket but the silverbeet was begging to be used so away I went.
Grated Beetroot
The recipe is a little scanty in details but that has never bothered me in the past.  The beetroot was pulled, photographed, scrubbed and boiled into tender submission while I gathered the remaining ingredients.  As the recipe only fed 4, and we had 6 to feed, I roughly increased it by half again.

The results from the family were:

  • Mopp – it would taste better with sausages in it (therefore defeating the purpose of a vegetarian dinner)
  • Miss M – it’s ok (and she loves risotto so I’m guessing she won’t want me to make this one again)
  • Mr L – it looks better than it looks (he insisted that was what he meant and spent a good half of the meal trying to help us understand the logic of his statement but we still have no clue what he was on about)
  • The Anster – yum

As for me – I have to agree it didn’t look as though it was going to be worth all the effort of making it but the risotto had an incredible depth of flavour. I think next time I’d parboil the rice to speed up the process.
Beetroot & Apple Risotto

Beetroot, Apple & Silverbeet Risotto

450g fresh beetroot
2 medium brown onions
6-8 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ t caraway seeds, dry roasted and crushed
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
400g short brown or red rice
2 large apples
1 large bunch of silverbeet, trimmed and sliced
Salt & pepper

Balsamic glaze
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 T apple syrup

Scrub the beetroot and twist off the greenery.  Snap off long roots.  Cover in cold water and bring to the boil.  Boil until the beetroot is tender.  Drain the beets (reserve the cooking liquid) and cool them a little before skinning – an easy way to do this is to pierce the top end with a fork then push the skins off with the back of a spoon or your hands if you don’t mind getting vivid pink fingers – they slip off really easy.  Dice the beetroot.  Place half the diced beetroot with half the cooking liquid in the blender and purée until smooth.  Set aside for later.

Peel and finely dice the onions .

Prepare stock in a large pot and keep over very low heat so the stock retains its heat.

Place caraway seeds into a separate small frying pan or pot and heat gently, tossing now and then, until fragrant.  Tip into a mortar and pestle and crush the seeds.

Heat a large frying pan (I always make our risotto in a large cast-iron electric frying pan).  Add oil and butter.  Once melted, chuck in the onion and rice and stir until the rice is well coated with the butter mixture.

Add the seeds to the large frying pan and stir until they are mixed through the rice.

Add a cup of hot stock to the rice one cup at a time to the rice, only adding more stock when the first lot has evaporated.  By the time the stock is all added, the rice should nearly be done.  If more liquid is needed, add the reserved beetroot juice, or hot water.  The amount of liquid required depends on the type of rice used and the speed at which it cooks – I didn’t have enough brown rice so I added some medium grain red rice which takes a long time to cook but has a gorgeous nutty flavour.  I used the full measure of stock, all the beetroot juice and extra hot water before the rice was cooked sufficiently.

Meanwhile prepare the apples.  Quarter and core the apples, then cut each quarter into about 3 slices.  Cook apples – I microwaved the apples with a little water until they were tender, however they can be baked or pan-fried with a little butter.

Prepare the balsamic glaze – place balsamic vinegar and apple syrup in a small pot and heat gently until the mixture is quite thick and syrupy.  Cover and set aside – keeping warm until required.

Wash silverbeet well then shake off any moisture.  Remove stalks and discard, then slice the leaves finely.

Once the rice is nearly done, add the puréed beetroot and silverbeet to the frying pan.  Stir through and heat until the silverbeet is wilted.  Taste the mixture and season to taste.

Add the diced beetroot and stir until just combined.  Plate up the risotto, then top with hot apple and drizzle with balsamic syrup.
Beetroot Apple and Spinach Risotto

Potato & Apple Salad: the best potato salad

Potato and Apple Salad

Potato & Apple Salad
Apples in a potato salad sounded so intriguing I had to try it.  This recipe is an adaptation from The Dutch Table Aardappelsalade. I have used chillioli (aioli with chilli) instead of mayonnaise and altered the ratio of dill to potatoes slightly to suit our kiwi taste buds.  The resulting potato salad is the nicest the Anster has ever tasted.   The salad has been made three times now in the space of about one month – so it is definitely a “make again” recipe in our house. Continue reading