Cider Braised Sausages with Apples and Collards

Pork and apples… mmmmm….

Pork and apples might’ve been my first foray into the world of food pairings. I’m not sure what prompted me to ladle apple sauce over my leathery pork chop that day in my college cafeteria. But I thought I was a genius. It wasn’t till later that I realized pork and apples is a tried and true culinary couplet.

Cider Braised Sausages with Apples and Collards
inspired by America’s Test Kitchen and Epicurious

1-2 T bacon grease, lard, ghee, coconut oil, as you wish
4 medium or spicy sausages, as you wish
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 firm baking apple such as granny smith, cored and chopped
1 cup apple cider*
1 bunch collards, washed
1/4 cup apple or pear butter
3T  apple cider vinegar
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Remove the large ribs from the collards by holding them by the stem and stripping them up the stem, much as you would a stalk of rosemary. Gather the leaves together and chop roughly. Set aside. Bring a large skillet over medium high heat and melt1 T of the fat. When it sputters, add the sausages, leaving space in between each one so that they don’t steam. Let them sizzle without moving until a good crust is formed, about 1 minute. Then use tongs to flip them and brown another minute. Remove to a plate. Add the onions and garlic, if necessary add the rest of the fat. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let them saute for about a minute, until the onions are slightly translucent and the garlic begins to color. Pour in the cider and scrape the bottom to remove the flavorful fond. Stir in the vinegar and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Add the apples and another pinch of salt. Replace the sausages and add the collards and stir until they cook down a bit. Put a lid on the skillet and reduce heat to low. Braise for about 10 minutes. Remove sausages again (sorry…)  and keep warm. Add cream and apple butter. Stir until it thickens into a lovely silky sauce. Replace the sausages and rewarm if necessary. Serve with cornbread to mop up the sauce.

* I used leftover spiced cider I made for a party. However, you could use a favorite hard cider or even apple juice. Though if you do use juice, make sure to get a good quality one, preferably unfiltered, for the most apple-y taste.

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Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 2 months ago at 6:10 pm.


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4 Replies

  1. Rachelle Dec 18th 2011

    This sounds delicious and I have all of these ingredients except sausage! (I was feeling the need for green vegetables and bought some collards the other day, mainly because they were cheaper and looked better than the kale and chard).

    I think there’s a mistake in the directions, after adding onion and garlic saute until onion is translucent and *apples begin to color? Should be garlic?

  2. Jana@ Collected Quotidian Dec 18th 2011

    Yes. Thanks so much. Let me know how it goes! I am always curious as to how my recipes translate to other people’s kitchens. It’s important to me that my blog have recipe integrity, so I appreciate the help.

  3. Rachelle Dec 19th 2011

    Well, everybody liked it! It was really flavorful and not as involved as I thought it might be. Took about 45 minutes including prepping veggies. The sauce was a bit thin which may have been because I used half and half instead of cream. I tried to dry the greens with a towel, but I think they still watered it down. I guess my suggestion might be to give a more specific measurement of the greens, like cups chopped or approximate diameter of a ‘bunch’? I thought I might have too much at first.

    But this was refreshingly different from everything I’ve made for a long time.

  4. Jana@ Collected Quotidian Dec 20th 2011

    Glad to hear! Thanks for the suggestion- measuring is actually the hardest part for me as I do so much on the fly.

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