Monday, November 19, 2012


This was my (belated) nod to Oktoberfest. I based it on a simpler recipe from Dinner: A Love Story (the book version of which I recently read and really enjoyed; even though it’s geared toward parents, I do share Jenny Rosenstratch’s love of strategizing). Being a frivolous childless person, I promptly made it more complicated. The original recipe just roasted the components with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then recommended serving it with a dollop of mustard, but I thought immediately of mustard-roasted potatoes and figured that fantastic crunchy, zippy coating would be pretty fantastic when applied to onions, apples, and sausage as well. So I married the two recipes and it was wonderful. The mustard coating doesn’t get delectably crispy as it does on the potatoes alone, but instead it turns into a savory sauce that’s nearly as good. Served with green salad and a beer, this is a hearty, comforting, and extremely easy fall/winter meal.

(Confidential to Westerners: I have finally settled on my favorite sausage: the spicy chicken Parmesan at Sprouts. All their sausages are handmade, from scratch, in store: worth the drive across town (all of 5 miles, as opposed to less than a mile for my other grocery stores--yes, I am spoiled) for me! Whole Foods makes its own too, but I have to say, Sprouts is superior.)

¼ cup whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound small unpeeled red or yellow potatoes, halved
1 medium onion, cut into eighths
Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme (optional)
2 to 3 baking apples (I used Fuji), unpeeled, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 uncooked Italian sausages (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, olive oil, butter, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, lemon peel, and salt. Add potatoes, onions, and thyme; sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat.

3. Pour potato mixture into a large baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

4. Add apples to baking dish and toss well. Place sausages atop potato mixture and return to oven. Turn heat down to 400 degrees and bake another 30 minutes, turning sausages over halfway through, until sausages are cooked and potatoes are tender. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in cider vinegar, if desired.

Serves: 4
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: Good.

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