Sausages Poached in Wine

Sausages Poached in Wine

Serves lots of people as a party finger-food dish

1 pound sausage in casings:  chorizo (dried, cured Spanish sausage), salchicha (uncured, uncooked Spanish sausage), Mexican chorizo (uncooked), Italian sausage (uncooked, preferably without fennel), or spicy turkey or chicken sausage (uncooked)

4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled but not chopped

Herbs:  2 sprigs fresh rosemary (good with Spanish chorizo and some spicier sausages or salchichas), 2 sprigs fresh thyme (good with most sausages), or a few fresh basil leaves (good with Italian sausage)

2-3 cups rosado (rosé) wine (a bottle, or a little less)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Prep the sausages:  If you’re using Spanish dry chorizo, go ahead and take the casing off if you can.  Leave the casings on the uncooked sausages.  If the sausages aren’t in links already, cut them into about four-inch lengths.  Prick the sausages all over with a fork or a small, sharp knife.

Put the sausages in a skillet or stovetop-safe casserole dish that’s big enough to hold the sausages in a single layer.  Add the garlic and herbs, and enough wine to cover the sausages (you may not need an entire bottle).  Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan.  Gently cook the sausages for 20 minutes.  The Spanish chorizo should have plumped nicely, and the other sausages should be cooked through.  (Do-ahead note – at this point, you can let the sausages sit in the poaching liquid to cool, and refrigerate for a day.)

Remove the sausages from the liquid with a slotted spoon, then pour the liquid into a small saucepan.  Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and reduce the liquid by about a third while you finish the sausages.

Meanwhile, let the sausages cool for a couple of minutes so you can handle them.  Remove the casings and slice the sausages into ¼ to ½ -inch pieces.  If the sausages don’t look particularly fatty, add a bit of oil to the skillet, then heat it up, and brown the sausage slices (no need to add oil if it’s a non-stick skillet or if the sausage has visible fat pieces in it).  When the slices are brown, add the reduced wine mixture and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits that are stuck there.  Taste the sauce for salt and pepper, then cook everything for another minute.  Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let everything sit for 10 minutes – longer if you want to serve the sausages at room temperature.  Serve with plenty of bread.

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