When my husband and I got married, our coworkers and friends in Germany put together an incredibly sweet collection of recipes they called "Recipes for a Successful Marriage." We worked with people from all over the world, so we now have a cookbook full of tasty international recipes.
Our good friend Joanna grew up in England, in the county of Essex. Essex is just northeast of London, but when you're driving on its country roads or sitting in one of its pubs, it feels like you're a million miles away. Joanna sent me the photo above, which was taken near where she lived.
Joanna contributed two English recipes to our collection and I've been meaning to try her sausages in cider since I first read about it. I love the combination of apple and pork flavors and this dish delivers. If you like fried apples, cook up a few more because they are amazing with the sausages and bacon.
Sausages in Cider
8 pork sausages (ideally British-style, or something that will go with the apple flavors)
1 tablespoon neutral oil
8 slices smoked bacon, chopped roughly
2 small shallots, chopped roughly
1 1/2 cups strong, dry cider
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon flour
1 bay leaf
2 medium-sized apples
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place a Dutch oven (or any large pot that can go from stovetop to oven) over medium heat, add a little oil and when it's hot, brown the sausages on all sides. Then carefully remove the sausages and set them aside, leaving the oil and bits in the pan.
Add the shallots and the bacon to the pan. When the bacon is crisp and and the onions soft, sprinkle in the flour to soak up the fat. Stir a few times and then slowly add the cider.
Return the sausages to the pot, along with the crushed garlic and the bay leaf. Grind a little pepper in and bring the whole thing to a simmer. Put a lid on the pot and place it in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes.
While the sausages are finishing up, slice the apples into rings. You don't have to peel the apple, but cut out the seeds and tough bits in the middle of each slice. Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the apples until they are golden.
Serve the sausages up individually over mashed potatoes with plenty of the bacon-shallot-cider goodness spooned over everything. Add a couple of apple rings to each plate.