I like to cook but I don’t always have time to dither in the kitchen. Which means some nights, when it comes to dinner, I need to multi-task. If I can have something in the oven AND something bubbling on the stove then perhaps it’s possible to carve out a little time for more meaningful tasks like crying through The Rachel Maddow Show. The solution? Head to your nearest butcher shop and ask for good fennel-flecked Italian sausages. I like the coarse-cut varieties displayed in plump clusters. Of course, sausages from the grocery store will often fit the bill. Especially if you’ve got no time to dither – just as long as they’re generously filled and look like their skins are about to burst.
There are many good ways to cook sausage. That’s why they’re so versatile.
Some people prefer to cook them in a frying pan, turning them every few minutes, allowing them to slowly brown in a nice slick of fat. Which is a very good way to go, but it can take up to 40 minutes and all of your attention. The British seem to like their bangers cooked under the broiler, and I think German brats make a durable, no-nonsense griller. You say stir-fried Chinese lap cheung? I say yes, please.
But when I’ve got my mind on other things I often opt for sweet Italian sausages cooked in the oven. They take very little attention and get nice and uniformly brown.
I admit it’s a little strange to arrange my dinner menu around cable news schedules. But I’m not the only one. The President of the United States reportedly fills his days with “plenty of television,” and from his tweets, it’s often possible to discern what he’s watching. I can relate to that because with all the crazy things going on in this world I can’t help but keep an ear on Anderson Cooper and an eye on dinner. So, with all the attention I can muster, I’ve got a meaty cool-weather stew laden with sweet Italian sausage, kale, barley, and rosemary. And like politics today, it’s deeply flavored and surprisingly complex. Yet it’s quite easy to make with sausages cooked in the oven. GREG