As the leaves start to fall,my thoughts for recipe inspiration are definitely turning to more autumn vegetables - pumpkin, squash, carrots, parsnips and all those other lovely root vegetables. Meals too, are more warming; more spicy and more comfort-type food. Sadly our local farmers market is almost closing up but I did manage to pick up some beautiful beetroot and red onions there last week. And after a recent trip to Eden Market in South Orange, bought some delish lamb sausages and a packet of cranberries - a meal was forming in my head...
I am pleased to say that despite now living in the land of the Hot Dog, I have been able to buy some great sausage variations here. One I especially love is the Sweet Italian with fennel seeds [which sadly my kids won't eat - though probably just as well or we would eat them every day...]. I also discovered some great German style bratwurst at Costco over summer which were great on the barbie!
Another great harvest food (and in time for Thanksgiving)is cranberries. Now, coming from the Southern Hemisphere, the only cranberries I had ever seen came already juiced and with an Ocean Spray logo on the bottle. The real things are quite different - very tart (which makes me wonder how much sugar Mr OS puts in his juices!) yet kind of sweet at the same time and very delicious. A well meaning friend did advise not to eat them raw - 'they are better cooked' though of course I just had to try didn't I?!
So Thursday night was dinner out for me with the Pantry team but, feeling a little guilty, I decided to make the classic comfort food dish (bangers and mash with an autumn twist) for the troops left at home:
2 lamb sausage spirals (or 5-6 of any other good sausages)
3 - 4 red onions
2 Tbspns brown sugar
2 Tbspns balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic
6-8 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup cranberries (the magic ingredient of the month!)
Good lug of olive oil
Preheat oven to 300 F and chop up onions into thick slices/ thin wedges.
Layer onions in an oven tray along with the garlic cloves and sprinkle with brown sugar, olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper.
Roast for approx 30 - 40 minutes in medium oven then add sausages, cranberries and rosemary on top.
Roast for a further 15 - 20 minutes (depending on thickness of sausages, stirring occasionally.
Serve [when sausages are done and onions are soft and caramelised] with your BEST mashed potatoes.