Sunday, 20 January 2013

Of snowballs and sausages

Keith eating snow
It's still bitterly cold here but Keith the dog is loving it.  Being a young dog, this is his first proper winter and watching him romp around and waiting for us to throw snowballs for him has been priceless.  It also means he gets to eat crunchy snow - lots of it.

Venison sausages
Luckily, we have been having food with more sustenance than snow, keeping us warm inside.  Spare a thought though for the homeless or the elderly who are not so lucky.  I read a lovely story about the Swansea City footballer Angel Rangel and his wife who drove around the city on Friday night, looking for homeless people to give food to that they had collected from a sandwich shop.  The shop owner was going to throw the leftovers away at the end of the day but instead donated these to Angel and his wife to distribute to needy people. They found a shelter for the homeless where the food was very welcome.  A heartwarming story not only about kindness but also about a better way of dealing with potential food waste.

As I said, we have been lucky to have food to keep us happy and warm and we are very grateful for it!
This yummy dish of venison sausages in red onion gravy is another easy recipe that can be prepared in advance and is ideal for a cold winter's day.  Keep any leftover mash to top a fish pie or make into fish cakes, bubble & squeak cakes etc.  Recipes for all of these will follow in the next few posts but for now, please click below to find the recipe for the sausage dish.  I hope you will like it!

Venison Sausages with Red Onion Gravy

Ingredients (serves 2 - 3)
  • 4 - 6 venison sausages (although other sausages would also work)
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 200ml red wine
  • 100ml chicken stock (made from cube to save time)
  • 1 tbsp red currant jelly
  • 1 - 2 bay leaves
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • optional: a sprinkle of dried thyme
To serve:  mash potatoes & vegetables such as peas, carrots,...

  1. Prick the sausages and pop them into a hot, BIG saucepan. The fat will start to come out and make them sizzle. There should not be a large amount of fat with venison sausages but any other type may be fattier. Drain whatever fat comes out.
  2. Once the sausages are browned all over, add the sliced onions before turning down the heat.
  3. Sweat the onions until soft before adding the redcurrant jelly, wine, stock, bay leaf and juniper berries (plus thyme if using). Bring to the boil then add the lid and turn down to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. In a little bowl on stand by, make a paste using 1 tsp of butter and 1 tsp of cornflour-this will be used later to thicken the sauce.
  5. Peel the potatoes and put on to boil to prepare the mash
  6. Back to the sausages: after 20 minutes of bubbling gently, remove the lid, and put the sausages onto a plate.
  7. Now add the butter/cornflour mix and turn up the heat. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens slightly and looks glossy, which should take no more than 5 minutes.
  8. Put the sausages back into the sauce to warm through whilst mashing up the potatoes, then serve with vegetables of your choice (we like peas with this)
 (adapted from Channel 4's Cook Yourself Thin recipe published on their website)

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