Sage, Apple, and Sausage Sauté with Garlic Hasselback Potatoes
Yesterday was a good day.
Odd for a Monday, which in itself added a little unexpected delight to the whole thing. Good Mondays are like unicorns. Not to mention that it was a Monday following a weekend out of town, which usually feel like stolen Sundays that have somehow been cruelly absorbed by the workweek.
But it didn’t. It was good. Especially because M., my boyfriend, got a fantastic and very well-deserved promotion (I’m not biased or anything, I swear) that generated a lot of good vibes in our house. Hurray!
We’re both sort of at that age where career trajectories aren’t quite aligned yet. I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. The woes of a 20-something, right? But throw in a less-than-healthy economy and the idea of making strides on the job front can seem more than a little bleak. M. has somehow been immune, though. Twice in the past year he’s actually had department heads fighting over him. Yeah, he’s that good. What.
Anyway, in my book, good Mondays, good vibes, and big promotions are all reasons to celebrate. And in that same book, you’ll find it written that the only proper way to celebrate anything is with some really great food.
Given that this is my 6th post and 2nd recipe involving pork cooked with apples, I suppose there’s no point in denying that I love the combination, especially this time of year. Something about it just works. But throw in some fennel and sage, and it’s really on a completely new level. The flavors are slightly sweet and still utterly savory. The fennel and apples are made for each other, and the sage and sausage play off of both with deep, earthy flavors. I just love it.
M. is sort of a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, so I paired this sauté with classic Hasselback potatoes. They sort of have the best of both worlds when it comes to potatoes – crispy and crunchy, but still tender and soft. Not to mention they’re simple and wholesome, which I love, and bake up beautifully.
Sage, Apple, and Sausage Sauté
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb ground pork sausage (chicken or turkey sausage would also work wonderfully, and help to cut down on calories), casings removed
2 tsp fennel seeds
8 or so fresh fresh sage leaves, chopped
3-4 sprigs of thyme
2 apples, chopped (I left the skin on, but you can peel if you like)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
Break sausage into pieces and add to skillet. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until browned on all sides and broken down. Add fennel seeds, sage, and thyme leaves. If you like your apples to be a bit softer and cooked through, add them and the vinegar at this point, too, and saute for another 7-10 minutes. If you prefer a bit more crispness (like I do), allow the sausage mixture to cook for another 5 minutes or so, then add the apples and vinegar and cook for only another 3-4 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with a bit of freshly chopped sage.
Garlic Hasselback Potatoes
4-6 baking potatoes, scrubbed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp pepper, or to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Starting at one end of a potato, begin making very thin slices along the top that end just before cutting all the way through. Do this to each potato.
Place potatoes on a baking sheet or dish. Wedge garlic strips between a few of the slices on each potato. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until cooked through and the potatoes’ slices begin to open up and crisp.