Friday, November 14, 2008

Ale-Braised Sausage & Peppers and Easy Cheesy Beer Bread

I had originally planned to make this dinner last Friday, but Joe and I ended up crashing the Rice Alumni party at the musicology/music theory conference downtown and then going to a terrible Thai place in East Nashville (which is another story for another time). So I postponed this until Monday, when I had the afternoon off, and Joe had the whole day off. We prefaced this delicious fall meal with a walk around Radnor Lake to get a glimpse of the leaves before they fell off the trees. We saw multiple deer, two bucks, and one that came within about 10 feet of me!

Joe loved the bread. It was all he could talk about. I played with the ratios of the sausage and peppers and ended up with a little bit too much sauce, probably because I only used half the sausage in the recipe. It still made for a delicious dinner and great leftovers as well.

Both recipes come from Katie over at Good Things Catered who is a domestic goddess if I've ever seen one.

Ale-Braised Sausage and Peppers
(source: Good Things Catered)


2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lb. cooked sausages, such as kielbasa, sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 c. ale
1 1/2 c. low sodium chicken stock
3 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Mashed potatoes for serving


-In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.
-Add the sausages and cook, stirring and turning often, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
-Transfer to a plate.
-Add the onion and bell pepper to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
-Add 2 Tbsp flour and cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
-Whisk in the ale until the mixture is smooth and bubbly.
-Add the thyme and broth, whisking to blend, and bring to a simmer.
-Return the sausages to the pot.
-Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes.
-Uncover and simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Remove the sausage, peppers, and onions and place on a serving platter.
-With the Dutch oven over medium high heat, whisk in 1 heaping Tbsp of flour, whisking constantly until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
-Pour thickened sauce over sausages and serve immediately with mashed potatoes.
-Serves 4 to 6.

Easy Cheesy Beer Bread
(source: Good Things Catered)


2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
12 oz. bottle of lager or stout (I used a Michelob Porter, and the bread had a VERY strong beer taste, which we loved.)
2 Tbsp butter, melted

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan for baking.
-In large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder.
-Whisk to combine well.
-Add cheese and whisk to combine.
-Slowly add beer to dry ingredients and stir lightly until combined.
-Knead dough lightly until it just comes together.
-Place into prepared loaf pan and pour melted butter over top.
-Place in oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.