Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sausages Provencal

By now readers of this blog have realized I favor several different cuisines. I have posted Southwestern dishes, Indian dishes, Vietnamese/Thai inspired dishes, and many, many Mediterranean based dishes. Today's dish has Provence stamped all over it. Provence is that part of France on the Mediterranean and adjoining Italy. You could call it the olive oil part of France to distinguish its cuisine from the classic butter, butter, butter cooking in the rest of France. Think lavender and thyme and anchovies and saucy red wines and tomatoes and oranges.

This dish features sausages. Most types other than hard sausage or sweet sausages will work, from Ekrich smoked sausage through the spinach and sundried tomato varieties you find at Sams or even kielbasa. The apple stuffed and cheese stuffed varieties can be used, but really do better in other uses. You can even add a second ethnic influence if you choose to use sweet Italian sausage, chorizo, or andouille. Basically, this one has room to use what you have or prefer.


8 ounces to 1 pound of sausage, sliced in 1/4 inch rings
1 28 ounce can of high quality diced tomatoes with juices
1 onion, sliced thin from root to sprout
1 bell pepper in a contrasting color, seeded and sliced strips approximately 1/4 inch wide
1/4 cup of drained and pitted kalamata or nicoise olives
1 to 1.5 Tbs. Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper
2 splashes of fish sauce or one 3 inch stripe of anchovy paste
1 splash of Sriracha or a pinch of red pepper flakes
extra virgin olive oil


Set the oven for 275 degrees.

Add two to three Tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a Dutch oven and heat it over medium high heat to the shimmering stage. Add half of the sausage rings and brown both sides of the rings. Remove the fried rings to a separate bowl and add the remaining sausage. Brown the sausage and remove the rings to the same bowl. Turn the burner to medium and add the onion and the sweet pepper strips. Fry the onion and peppers until the edges begin to brown. Add the garlic and spices and continue to cook until very fragrant.

Add the olives and the tomatoes. Cook until the liquid begins to boil and then add 1/2 cup of water and the reserved sausage rings. Bring to a boil and cover. Place the Dutch oven in the preheated oven and bake for an hour. Reduce the oven to 200 degrees and continue to slow cook until time for service.

Serve over cheesy polenta or wide butter noodles.

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