Venison Sausages Braised in White Wine with Caramelised Chestnuts
You could make this with any kind of good quality sausages, but venison seems more festive.
Needless to say, a pile of fluffy mashed potato or Puree of Potato and Celeriac with Garlic (see below), goes down a treat with this.
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Serves 4-6
First heat the oil in the casserole, then, with the heat turned down to medium, brown the sausages evenly all over, taking care not to split the skins by turning them over too soon.
Then, using a draining spoon, transfer them to a plate while you brown the bacon along with the shallots. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Now crush the coriander, salt and peppercorns together with a pestle and mortar (not too finely, so they are still fairly coarse), then add them to the casserole along with the garlic.
When the bacon and shallots have become golden brown, return the sausages to the casserole and add the white wine, thyme and bay leaves. Now bring everything up to a gentle simmer, put a lid on the casserole, turn the heat down as low as possible and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, caramelise the chestnuts - to do this, heat the 25g butter in the frying pan until it bubbles, then stir in the chestnuts and fry for 5- 6 minutes, until they are crisp and deep golden brown in colour. Then stir in the sugar and cook for a further 2 minutes before removing the pan from the heat and keeping on one side.
After the initial 45 minutes add the mushrooms to the casserole and push them down into the sauce and simmer for a further 15 minutes without the lid so that the liquid can reduce slightly.
When the time is up, using a draining spoon, transfer the sausages and all the vegetables etc. to a warm serving dish. Then whisk the butter and flour mixture in to the sauce and let it bubble for a few minutes till thickened. Then reserve 30 of the chestnuts (for serving) and add the rest to the sauce, and use either a stick blender or a liquidiser to whiz them till smooth. Then return everything to the pan and bring back to simmering point.
Reheat the reserved chestnuts, then serve the sausages on warmed plates sprinkled with the chestnuts.
You will need a large flameproof casserole and a large heavy frying pan