I love sausage (or, as Anthony Bourdain calls it, meat in a tube). Sausage is one of those foods that seems elemental, fundamental–almost primal–when I enjoy it in any of its myriad forms. Maybe I fall for the fatty pork. But, I enjoy chicken and turkey sausage just as much. Also, venison, veal, rabbit, lamb, and seafood sausages are just as satisfying. Perhaps it’s the ease-of-eating that sausage offers or its ability to pack so many wonderful flavors into a convenient form that gives it such lasting appeal. Sausage, sauerkraut, mustard, and a pilsner is one of my bedrock comfort-food dinners. Recently, my wife gave me a sausage stuffing tool that I can use with the meat grinder attachment to my Kitchen Aid mixer. A whole new world of homemade sausages has opened up before me.
Lucky for me, I have a Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer.
It is common knowledge that the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer is one of the most efficient, easy-to-use methods for juicing fruit of all kinds. Jellies, jams, fruit spreads, butters and leathers, syrups and vinegars, as well as ciders, flavored beers, and wines are all just a step away with the Mehu-Liisa.
The Mehu-Liisa is also a wonderful steam cooker with many useful applications. (Check the Steam Cooking Recipes category on the archive sidebar to view other posts.) Last night, I cooked up a wonderful sausage and vegetable dinner in a very short time.
Here’s how I did it:
Fill your water pan up about half way. Because cooking times are shorter when steam cooking foods with your Mehu-Liisa juicer-cooker, it isn’t necessary to fill the water pan to capacity. Be sure to place the lid on the water pan to speed the boil. Do not let the water pan boil dry. Just a steady boil is what’s needed, not furious.
Assemble your ingredients (full list below) and chop your vegetables coarsely. That’s some of my spring celery and parsley. Both plants have a very intense, deepened scent and flavor when they grow through the winter here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Brown the sausages before steaming. This gives them more eye appeal. The pan on the right is coated with flavorful caramelized juices from the sausages. This will be used later to make a rich sauce for the meal.
Steam the potatoes, carrots, and sausages first. I gave them 15 min. to soften up.
Next, add the celery, onions, and cabbage. When steam processing in my Mehu-Liisa juicer-cooker, I hang the clamped drain hose on one of the handles of the steam juicer to keep it out of the way. I gave these veggies about 8 min. to steam. (Total steam-cooking time was 23 min. Test your vegetables for doneness to avoid over-steaming. Your steam time may vary.)
When the time is up, draw-off the stock from the juice kettle. (I got about 12 ounces of highly flavorful liquid.) This will be used later in the sauce. Set aside the sausages and place the vegetables in a bowl. Keep both ingredients warm (do not allow to overcook).
Brown the apples in 1 tablespoon butter added to the caramelized sausage juice. I added the wine once the apples were nicely colored. After a few minutes, and when the pan is thoroughly deglazed, remove the apples to a warm place so that the liquid can be reduced (by half).
Add second tablespoon of butter to the reduction (add the optional mustard at this time) and whisk-in the 2 tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Let the roux cook for a bit to get rid of the floury flavor. Add the 12 ounces of stock, all at once, and whisk until smooth. Keep covered on low heat and stir every so often to keep a skin from forming. (Add additional chicken stock or water to the sauce if it is too thick.)
Plate your sausages and vegetables, top with apples and sauce and a sprig of fresh parsley. Wonderful. This recipe serves four.
Steamed Sausages and Vegetables w/Browned Apple Sauce.
1 lb small potatoes, quartered (Yukon Gold)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch strips, 1/8 inch wide
6 sausages of various types (cooked or fresh)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (about 1.5 cups)
4 stalks of dark green celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 of small cabbage, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
1 large or 2 small apples (skin on), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon stone-ground brown mustard (optional)
2 tablespoons flour
stock from steam cooking (additional chicken stock or water)
salt and pepper to taste
sprigs of parsley
Please let me know if you have any questions.