Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Weekday Fancy Times With Virtually No Work: Baked Sausages With Tomatoes

Before shot.
This meal will mos def become part of your regular meal rotation...and it's so deeply flavourful and delicious that it's an easy winner for a wee dinner party like the one we had last week. Having people over for dinner on weeknights can be, well, a pain in the ass. It ends up feeling too stressful and frantic - cleaning, cooking, setting the table, etc, etc, all when you're running in the door around 6pm and people are coming for 7.

So this is one of those recipes that will alleviate at least the cooking franticness...you basically throw a bunch of cherry tomatoes, garlic, and some herbs in a big pot (one that you can put in the oven), lay some sausages on the top, pour over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and pop her in the oven. About 45 minutes later, you get beautiful, moist sausages sitting in this herby, hefty, rich tomato sauce that has just miraculously appeared (well, no, it came from the tomatoes, but it's one of those dishes where it's so different after the oven does its work that it's hard to not be a bit delighted). Serve it over mashed potatoes (or polenta would also be nice - but I have screwed up polenta all three times I've tried to make it and I just eventually said that we were breaking up, because it's not like without polenta in my life, I'm walking around missing it all the time).

This pot is about to become the home of a sausage party.

Baked Sausages and Tomatoes
Adapted (only slightly) from a Jamie Oliver recipe

3 pounds of cherry tomatoes, or roughly chopped regular old tomatoes 
a handful of herb sprigs, including rosemary, thyme, oregano
3 cloves of chopped garlic
8 delicious sausages        (I think it's worth it going to a good butcher for good sausages - they are inexpensive and you can tell when they're made with care - for this I used a mixture of hot italian, sweet italian, and garlic sausages)
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Get a big oven-proof pot or pan, and toss in your chopped tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and a good dose of salt and pepper. Add a couple of good glugs of olive oil, and mix everything up so well coated. Then, lay your sausage on top of the tomato bed, and pour a bit more olive oil and a good glug or two of balsamic vinegar. Mix everything around together a bit, and make sure that the sausages end up on top. Put the pot into the oven for half an hour. Once that time has elapsed, take it out of the oven, give things a bit of a shake and turn the sausages over. Pop it back in the oven for between 15 and 30 minutes.  

As you'll see, we're still only working with sausages here.
They're never gonna be that "presentation-friendly".

So, after a total of 45 minutes to an hour, the tomatoes will have broken down and become a lovely sauce. If the sauce is too thin for you, you can take out the sausages, and put the pot over a high heat to reduce some of the liquid. I did, and I think it intensified it even more, in a good way. I served it with mashed potatoes (which I gussied up by adding about a quarter cup of sour cream and a big handful of grated parmesan with the milk and butter). It was awesome.


  1. I can attest to how awesome of a meal this was.

  2. Thanks very much, Unknown (so mysterious!)