There are days when I just don’t know what to make for lunch or dinner. One thing I know for sure is that whatever it is, I will most likely add red wine and butter to the meal. These two ingredients will turn anything into a special something. It’s the sauce, the gravy, the juices that make everything taste better. For me, this is the essence of French cuisine. And the fresh produce of course. With good quality ingredients and a good sauce, nothing can go wrong.
Since I have been living in Médoc, it has become a habit of mine to cycle around. I enjoy buying my daily baguette and groceries, taking the scenic route through the forest. It is so rewarding to look at all the peaceful surroundings, saying bonjour to the local sheep, donkeys, horses and cows. It is often during these bicycle trips that I get inspired for a dish. Last Friday, I came back home with a big pack of sausages from my local charcuterie. Their sausages are of exceptional quality, faite maison (home-made). I love a good comforting bangers & mash meal, but I am not always in the mood to fry a dozen sausages, especially around lunch time. That’s why I cook them in the oven. It’s nice and easy, and you get an excellent gravy as a bonus.
Roast sausages with fennel & red wine gravy
Ingredients: (serves 4)
12 good quality pork sausages (or any good quality meat sausages of your choice)
1 large fennel bulb, coarsely sliced
1 large onion, coarsely sliced
240 ml/ 1 cup red wine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mustard
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Coarse salt & black pepper, for seasoning
Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°F
In a small bowl, mix olive oil and mustard. Place sausages in a baking dish, drizzle olive oil and mustard – mix well. Let the sausages cook in the oven for 20 minutes, add fennel, onions, thyme, salt and pepper (salt very lightly as the sausages and mustard are already salty). Cook for a further 25 minutes, stirring the pan halfway. Add the red wine and butter, and cook for a further 10-12 minutes, until the wine has reduced and the sauce has become slightly thicker. Serve with mashed potatoes.