Ale-Braised Sausage

From The City Tavern Cookbook: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine
© 2009 by Walter Staib

Early American housewives made their own sausages, usually with ground pork and beef suet or ground pork and veal. Hannah Glasse seems to have been an expert in sausage-making, having mastered the Oxford, Bologna, Hamburg, and other versions of German sausages. Most colonial cooks would simply fry their sausages in butter and serve over toast, but German settlers would have occasionally prepared this special recipe by incorporating two of their most favorite ingredients: ale and mustard.

Serves 4

  • 8 purchased pork sausages (about 2 pounds), cooked
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 cups dark ale
  • 1 cup Demi-Glace
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

With a small paring knife, make shallow, diagonal cuts in the sausages. Place them in a shallow baking pan and bake for about 5 minutes, until brown. Remove from the oven and reserve.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over high heat, add the onions, shallots, and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes, until golden. Add the sausages. Add the ale to deglaze the pan, loosening any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the ale is reduced so it just coats the bottom of the pan. Transfer the sausage to a serving platter and keep warm.

Increase the heat to high and stir the demi-glace and mustard. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the mixture is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon the onion mixture over the sausages.