Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apple Chicken Sausages and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausages With Braised Black Forest Bacon Root Vegetables

     Oktoberfest Food!
     I thought about making a German style braised root vegetable recipe for a few days.  I had some turnip, parsnip, carrot and potato in the refrigerator for a start.  More kinds of root vegetables were needed and I found a nice variety in Las Vegas food markets.  I purchased some golden beets and celery root.  Parsley Root was available a few days ago, but it was now sold out.  Even so, I ended up with plenty of tasty root vegetables for today's recipe.

     I have not seen American style Black Forest Bacon at a market for a while.  I thought this style of bacon would add a nice flavor when braising the root vegetables.
     Black Forest Bacon is an American style product and it should not be confused with meats that are prepared in the Black Forest region of Germany.  The same can be said about American Black Forest Ham, which is nothing like an authentic Black Forest Ham from Germany.  According to European originality laws, only German Black Forest Ham is the real thing.  It is illegal to sell American Black Forest Ham in Europe, because this ham is really a novel invention of its own and the Black Forest name is used solely for it's marketing potential.    
     American Black Forest Bacon is flavored with German winter spices, then it is cured.  The flavor of American Black Forest Bacon actually is pretty good!

     Fancy flavored chicken sausages have been popular in recent years, because consumers think of chicken sausage as being a healthy alternative.  This is not always true, because cheap manufactured chicken sausages do have plenty of fat and chicken skin whipped into the ground chicken mix.  Hand crafted chicken sausages from a good butcher shop are a better choice.  The difference in quality is easily noticed.    
     Apfelwurst is a traditional German pork sausage that is flavored with apples.  Chicken Apple Sausages have a lighter flavor than the traditional pork version.  Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausages have a nice mild flavor too.
     Apple Chicken Sausages and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausages With Braised Black Forest Bacon Root Vegetables:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty entrée or 2 petite portions.
     Step 1:  Heat a braising pot or a wide sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/3 cup of chopped onion.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 2:  Add 1 1/2 thick slices of American Black Forest Bacon, that are cut into 1" long pieces.
     Add 4 thick carrot sticks that are 3" long.
     Add 4 thick parsnip sticks that are 3" long.
     Add 5 small Yukon Gold Potatoes that are cut in half.
     Add 4 pieces of celery root that are cut into 1/2" cube shapes.
     Add 4 thick turnip sticks.
     Add 5 thick golden beet wedges.
     Sauté and stir the ingredients, till the vegetables and bacon start to become aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste.
     Sauté and stir till the tomato paste lightly caramelizes.
     Step 4:  Add 3/4 cup of lager beer.  (gold color lager)
     Add 1/2 cup of beef stock.
     Add 3/4 cup of pork broth.
     Step 5:  Add 1/2 tablespoon of raw sugar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated orange zest.
     Step 6:  Add 3 spice cloves.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1 pinch of ground sage.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 teaspoon of coarse chopped Italian parsley.
     Add 2 pinches of minced fresh rosemary.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 7:  Add enough water, so the braising liquid almost covers the root vegetables.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil over medium heat.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Step 8:  Place 2 raw Apple Chicken Sausages on top of the vegetables.
     Place 2 raw Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausages on top of the vegetables.
     Cover the pot with a loose fitting lid.
     Place the pot in a 325ºF degree oven.
     Braise till the sausages and vegetables are almost fully cooked.
     Step 9:  Remove the lid from the pot.
     Return the pot to the 325ºF oven.
     Bake till the sausages are fully cooked and light brown highlights appear.
     Step 10:  Remove the braising pot from the oven.
     Place the braising pot over medium heat.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce the braising sauce, till it is a medium thin consistency.
     Keep the braised root vegetables and sausages warm over very low heat.
     Spoon the braised root vegetables and the braising sauce on a plate as a bed for the sausages.
     Place the Apple Chicken Sausages and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausages on the bed of braised root vegetables.
     Sprinkle a little bit of fresh orange zest over the sausages and vegetables.
     Garnish the plate with sprigs of Italian Parsley and rosemary.
     Oktoberfest is a workers celebration of the fall harvest.  The food should be casual and full of flavor.  Most importantly, the food has to go well with beer!

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