I pretty much knew that my copy of Farms and Foods of Ohio was going to be relatively worthless when I left that state. And sure enough, ever since I moved to Illinois, the book has languished at the bottom of my cookbook shelf. What could it do for me now? It was my wife (who had originally bought the book for me) that picked it back up, noticing that along with some colorful commentary about local farmers, there were also some wonderful-looking recipes. And while I might not be able to procure all the produce from the Buckeye State, I figured the recipe would do well crossing state lines.
I was immediately won over by this recipe for roasted Italian sausages with grapes. I could see this finished dish way before I ever turned the oven on. I just knew that the grapes would break down into a delicious pulp, balancing the heat of the spicy Italian sausages. And I couldn't have been more right. The late addition of balsamic vinegar might make the sauce a touch too sweet, but when paired with some fluffy mashed potatoes, everything manages to balance out nicely.
Roasted Italian Sausages with Grapes
- 1 1/2 pounds spicy Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups red seedless grapes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer. Pierce the sausages all over with a knife, then gently lower into the pot. Cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Set a large iron skillet or roasting pan on top of a burner over medium-low heat. Add the butter and oil. When the butter has melted, add the grapes and toss until coated. Turn off the burner.
Nestle the sausage in amongst the grapes. Set skillet or roasting pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, flipping the sausage halfway through. The sausages should be browned. If not then cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Transfer the sausages and grapes to a plate, leaving the liquid behind. Set the pan on a burner set over medium heat. Add the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Let the vinegar reduce by half.
Serve the sausages on top of the grapes, and pour the sauce over everything.