Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dinner and Drinks: Savory Sausage and Rice

One food that I have come to love --LOVE-- in all its glorious forms is sausage. Nothing brightens up a stew or adds the same character to a pasta dish as a good sausage. When I answered Donna's "what's for dinner" by asking for suggestions, she wondered what what we had available in the sausage department. Ignoring the obvious dirty comeback, I started rooting through the freezer. What I found was some wild rice sausage we bought from Thielen's. I've never had it, but I thought it was high time I fixed that.

Savory Sausage and Rice

3 links of your favorite sausage
2 cups of rice
1 cup beef broth
8 oz mushrooms (sliced)
2 green onions (sliced)
2 tbsp corn starch (dissolved in 2 cups of cold water)
2 tsp tarragon
2 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp olive oil

First, get your corn starch mixed in cold water. Important safety tip: corn starch will not mix with hot liquids. Trust me on this. You can't add it to the broth later unless you want little white lumps of corn starch floating around. How much you need to use ultimately depends on how thick you want the sauce.
Get the beef broth cooking in a large skillet on high heat so it will reduce. Add the spices, mushrooms and green onions. Keep reducing until about half the liquid is gone, or until it gets to the consistency you crave. At the same time...
In a separate skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the sausage on all sides. You don't need it to cook all the way through. Slice it and add it to the broth. Reduce the heat on the broth to a simmer. Let it simmer for a while (the longer it does, the more tasty it gets. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Serve the sausage and mushrooms over the rice.
I saute├Ęd some asparagus tips to go along with it. Heat some olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss it around and keep it moving so it doesn't burn. It should just start to go limp. Get it off the heat immediately and serve as it will keep cooking  even off the heat.
I accompanied this dish with a Fat Tire, which is a great Belgian amber ale. To me it tastes like a Newcastle Brown ale with a tootsie roll in it. Really good beer, especially when paired with a savory meat dish like this.

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