Culinate

Basic Roasted Sausages

From the book All About Roasting by
Prep Time 5 minutes

Culinate recipe editor’s note: This fantastic method of cooking sausages relegates them to the back burner (so to speak), so you can turn your attention to a complementary side dish: mashed rutabagas and potatoes, braised cabbage, or polenta and tomato sauce.

Introduction

This is more of a technique than a recipe, but I include it here because I think it’s something every busy cook needs to know. For the longest time, I thought the only way to cook good sausages was to grill them, or, in a pinch, sauté them. That all changed when I got a copy of Charcuterie, by Michael Rhulman and Brian Polcyn, and I stumbled across this line: “Roasting is the easiest way to cook sausages.” I practically slapped my forehead. Of course it is!

Roasting sausages require much less tending — a single flip halfway through cooking — and there is no splatter to deal with. When I roast sausages, I use a very hot oven and preheat the skillet to give the sausages a little extra sear. I also like to include a little sliced onion in the pan, because it cooks in the same time as the sausages and soaks up some of the wonderful flavor. You can easily add sliced bell peppers, or eliminate the vegetables all together.

I typically roast a combination of sweet and hot Italian sausages, but whatever you choose, know that the quality of the dish rests almost entirely on the quality of the sausages. Buy the best you can find. The timing here is for sausages that are about 1 inch in diameter. For smaller sausages, such as merguez, check them sooner, and slice the onion even more thinly.

To serve, cut the sausages in half on a sharp angle; this makes it easy for people to take varying amounts and choose which sausage they like if you’re serving more that one kind. Serve the sausages with some sautéed or braised greens (I especially like kale) as a main dish or slice them into smaller pieces for an appetizer.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. peanut or grapeseed oil
1 medium yellow onion (about 6 ounces), sliced about ⅓-inch thick
~ Kosher or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. Italian sausage links, preferably a mix of sweet and hot

Steps

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees (375 convection).
  2. Slide a 12-inch ovenproof skillet into the oven to heat for 5 minutes. Add the oil, tilt the pan to coat, and return to the oven for another 2 minutes. (The hot pan helps the sausages brown nicely.)
  3. Scatter the onion slices, if using, in the skillet, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the sausages on top. Roast, flipping the sausages and giving the onions a little stir after 10 minutes, until the sausages are cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes total. To check for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of a sausage; it should read 150 to 160 degrees.
  4. If cutting the sausages in half, let them rest for a few minutes before doing so. Transfer the sausages and onions to a warmed serving platter or individual plates and serve hot.

This content is from the book All About Roasting by Molly Stevens.