Pork Sausages Braised in Cider with Apples and Juniper

Braised sausages seem to have turned up many times in my books over the years, and because I love them so much, here is yet another version – a lovely, comforting, warm, winter supper dish that needs copious amounts of fluffy mashed potato to spoon the sauce over. Crushing the juniper berries releases their lovely flavour.

Serves 3-4

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One

Pork Sausages Braised in Cider with Apples and Juniper
 6 large pork sausages, weighing about 1 lb (450 g), preferably outdoor-reared pork
 15 fl oz (425 ml) strong dry cider
 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
 1 Bramley apple, cored and sliced into rings (unpeeled)
 1 Cox's apple, cored and sliced into rings (unpeeled)
 1 level dessertspoon juniper berries, crushed slightly either in a pestle and mortar or with the back of a tablespoon
 2 dessertspoons olive oil
 8 oz (225 g) onions, peeled and sliced into rings
 1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
 8 oz (225 g) lean smoked bacon, roughly chopped
 1 level tablespoon plain flour
 a few sprigs fresh thyme
 2 bay leaves
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a 4 pint (2.25 litre) flameproof casserole dish measuring 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, 3 inches (7.5 cm) deep, with a tight-fitting lid.


Begin by taking a large, heavy-based frying pan, place it on a medium heat and add 1 dessertspoon of the oil to it. As soon as it's hot, fry the sausages until they are nicely browned on all sides, then, using a draining spoon, transfer them to a plate.

Now add the onions, garlic and bacon to the frying pan and cook these until they have also browned at the edges – about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the casserole on to another heat source, again turned to medium, add the other dessertspoon of oil, then, when it's hot, add the apple rings and brown these on both sides, which will take 2-3 minutes.

After that, add the sausages, followed by the bacon, onion and garlic, then sprinkle the flour in to soak up the juices, stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Next add the cider and cider vinegar, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Then add the thyme, bay leaves and crushed juniper berries, season with salt and pepper, but not too much salt because of the bacon. 

After that, put the lid on and simmer very gently on the lowest possible heat for 1 hour. 

Serve with mashed potato.

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