Tuesday, January 21, 2014
OVEN BRAISED GRAPES & SAUSAGES WITH SMOOTH POLENTA
I love this dish, having first experienced it over 40years ago while cruising the Northern Italian Coast, while cooking on private yachts.
It reminds me of pork and apple sauce and even bangers and mash..but much more yummy.
This feeds 4..good servings for supper or lunch along with a simple green salad
1 pound sweet grapes..green or black, seedless preferred.
Wash well in running water and drain well.
1 tbsp fresh herbs ( rosemary, sage, marjoram, chervil & etc.)
or 1tsp dried herb of choice
1 pound sausage ( 4 links) your choice
3 cups water or chicken broth
3/4 cup polenta or coarse corn meal
Put the grapes on a cookie sheet or ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake in a preheated 400f oven, middle shelf for about 20 mins..when they begin to feel soft.
Stir the rosemary into the grapes.
Then pierce each sausage with tines of a fork, several times and place on top of the grapes.
Return to oven and bake approx 20 more minutes until sausages begin to brown.
Meanwhile in a 2qt ovenproof dish mix the broth and polenta.
Bake in oven on lower third shelf level.
Turn over the sausages and stir up the grapes and continue to bake uncovered until the sausages have browned and grapes have caramelized.
Also the polenta has absorbed all the liquid and is still soft ( 25-30 mins)...stir the polenta often as it cooks and also more the sausages and grapes around as well.
Spread the polenta in a smooth layer over the base of the warmed serving dish.
Top with the sausages, then with a slotted spoon top this with the grapes, and leftover juices may be used to dress the green salad.
in place of grapes try chopped seasonal apples, peaches, plums ( stones/pits removed but leave the skin on..maybe cook a little longer before adding the sausages)
you may also add some olive oil or melted butter to the polenta before baking for a richer dish