Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Cider-Braised Sausages With Sage

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Here's what I like about this recipe: It takes two major cooking principles for flavor—the Maillard reaction and caramelization—and combines them into one ridiculously delicious result. First, the sausages are heavily browned, then all that flavor is deglazed with apple cider, which is then reduced down into a syrupy glaze. As the natural sugars (and acidity) in the apple cider concentrate with the pan drippings, you end up with something that tastes like it was cooking for hours and hours.

The inspiration for this recipe came from Everyday Food, but I switched out the accompanying butternut squash purée for polenta with sharp cheddar to keep everything from getting too sweet. The key here is to find real apple cider (i.e. unfiltered apple juice not from concentrate), because it's the soul of the recipe.

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