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Sausage and Peppers - any suggestions?

I plan on making this tonight. What works best - cooking on the stovetop or baking in the oven or a combo of both? I'd like the sausage to have a nice carmelized-like crunch to them.

I'd love to hear all suggestions and what do you usually pair it with????

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  1. I pan fry, sauages first, to get a nice brown, then remove and saute a combo of colored peppers, crushed garlic and onions in olive oil and the sausage fond, season with a little oregano, salt and pepper and done. Grill the hero roll brushed with a little garlic/olive oil combo and serve it up. For large quantities, the oven works well for the sausages, but I like the onions and peppers with a little crunch and color still left in them. Another technique is to start the sausages in an inch of water, to blanch them, allow the water to evaporate and then continue to brown until done to a turn.

    Now, I sometimes put (whispering) ketchup on my sausage and peppers, <<groan,>> but it's a childhood leftover fav of mine. I get a hankering for it occasionally.

    9 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Yep. I agree with Bushwickgirl. Pan. Way more crunch. Nix on the ketchup for everyone else but Bushwick.

      Maybe a bit of swiss chard sauteed along side is a nice bitter counterpoint. Tomatoes done confit style with garlic cloves, basil and olive oil that you can pile on crostini or hunks of torn bread.

      I like to have a caesar while the veggies are cooking down and maybe before that a nice hunk of cheese and some olives.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        I do a something very similar. Brown the sausages very well and then remove and saute the peppers and onions in the pan till well browned and softened, then add a hit of red wine vinegar and some stock/water,less than a 1/4 cup total, add the sausages back in and cover and steam for a few minutes. The onions get nice and soft and meld with the sausages as they cook through.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          That's funny, bushwickgirl. I never knew anyone else who started the sausages i water!

            1. re: roxlet

              I learned that trick from an Italian-American friend in college. I always do it that way now. The inside of the sausage cooks through fully and after the water evaporates I can turn the heat up to get a fast thorough browning.

              It takes a little longer, but I like a well done outside and I'm paranoid about undercooked pork.

              1. re: rockycat

                Same here - in a pan with water first. For the peppers and onions, I sometimes add garlic and a can of tomatoes, with a shot of balsamic.

            2. re: bushwickgirl

              I do my sausage and peppers exactly the same way. AND I admit to putting ketchup on my sausage & peppers sandwich also. Like you said, it's how I had it as a kid and I just can't seem to have it any other way. Shhhhh... :)

              1. re: lynnlato

                Wow, nice to meet you! I really thought I was the only ketchup topper or at least the only one who would admit to it, anyway! There's just something about the sweetness of the ketchup on the caramelized sausages, onions and peppers.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  Ha! Likewise, I'm sure. I can't believe I openly admitted to eating ketchup on anything on CH - I am certain there are others out there who do the same. :-)

                  You're so right though, the sweetness of the ketchup marries well with the spicy sausage, sweet peppers & onions. Mmmm... I could eat one right now.

            3. I watched the episode of Martha with this recipe and made S&P the next day using this as a guide line. It was fantastic.

              Gotta have the good crusty bread. I opt for Vienna since it's crust to middle ratio is higher.


              1. I do exactly as bushwickgirl - on the stove top and excepting oregano - then add a can of (plain) diced/chopped tomatoes with a bit of worchestershire and a splash of white wine (to calm the acidity of the tomatoes), S&P. Stir to remove browned bits from pan and let simmer for 30 min or so - you want some liquid as "gravy", but not watery. Serve over white rice with a baguette or french bread and butter. Plain and simple comfort.

                Edit: I don't use any additional seasonings/herbs. There's generally plenty of flavors imparted from the sausage/peppers/onions, but not so much to kill the brightness of the tomato flavor. I think I may make this tonight. Thanks for posting the topic!

                1. You have a couple of options, my two favorite of which are pan fried or roasted.
                  For pan fried, basically what was already said. I start my onions and garlic a second or so before I toss the sausage in (make sure to salt them so that they caramelize nicely) and pop on the peppers during the initial browning of the sausage. Herbs are optional, as the sausage itself is already herbed. Fresh ground pepper is usually great, and try to match up your herbs with the sausage so they don't clash. Little white wine will also do some good.
                  For roast, toss everything in a roasting pan, and this time include some chopped potatoes (I usually use russets but most any will do). Definitely wanna herb the potatoes with this method, and don't forget salt on your onions. Lots of garlic does well here, you can even roast some unpeeled cloves to suck out later or squeeze out as paste if it suits your fancy. Peppers get chopped up coarsely and tossed on top, and splash everything with a bit of red wine (table red, whatever you've got. I know sausage is usually a white meat, but I usually season it heavily with this method and use a strong sausage, and a white wine can't keep up with that).
                  Roast on 350 till done ish, it will differ depending on your pan. (an hour? not sure I've never timed it to be perfectly honest. Pork is done at 160 internal temp, chicken at 180).
                  Buen provecho!

                  1. Thanks everyone!!! These suggestions encompassed my ideas but now I'm feeling a little braver! It's the hubby's birthday on Wed, so I'm trying to make some of his faves this week. (Not to mention he has a job interview tomorrow, so I thought maybe the yummy food would help!!)

                    And thanks knavare - I never knew that you used salt to caramelize!!

                    1. When I do this for a party I used to brown the sausages in the pot (enamelled cast iron), then take them out, cook coarsely-chopped onion and peppers (I use poblanos) in the rendered fat, then when those were soft return the sausages, plus either a can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped, or sliced-up fresh Romas, then cover the pot and put it in the oven for about half an hour. Then I'd transfer everything to the big oval crockpot to take to the party, where I'd plug it in and let it get hot.

                      I do the same nowadays, except instead of browning them on the stove I use the gas grill. Nicer browning, good crusty stuff happening on the exterior.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Will Owen

                        No drippings and no fond thought.


                        1. re: Davwud

                          I've found that the frazzled juices on the grilled sausages transfer plenty of character to the resulting ragout, even without the additional grease etc. they'd otherwise contribute. It's a trade-off, I'll agree. I just like the character of the sausage better when it's been grilled, kind of odd when I think of how much I prefer a pan-grilled burger or steak!

                      2. Five words - Yuengling Black and Tan beer. - Just porter beer will work, but Yuenglings' blend does make a difference.

                        Usually do this in a disposable aluminum pan over an open grill, but stove top works.

                        Start to caramelize way more sliced onions than you think you'll need. - I'm guessing maybe one large onion per person.
                        After they are well on their way, add sausage and sliced peppers. After the sausage has started to brown on the outside, add the beer in stages and let it cook down before adding more.

                        Serve on a good Italian torpedo or kaiser roll.
                        We usually pair with another beer.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                          I never thought of substituting beer for water in this dish. I'm looking forward to trying this.

                          1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                            Was waiting for some one to say beer!!! BRAVO!!!! Now someone say "mustard" and a pinch of Caraway Seed and we'll be good to go........

                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                              I do as BP does, but while the onions are caramelizing, I put the sausages on the grill to get some good grill marks. Then add julienned peppers and the sausage to the pan of onions and start adding the beer. And it all goes on a great roll and yes - it has to have mustard!!! A little Sauerkraut on the side is nice too!

                              1. re: boyzoma

                                There ya go!! I add the mustard to the pan along with the beer, sausage, onion, pepper and Caraway...It makes a sauce of sorts!! ~~~ Using different mustards can be interesting too!!


                          2. We pan fry with lots of sliced onions, garlic and oregano. Many times I use either sweet or hot vinegar peppers instead of bells. My favorite is hot cherry peppers. Or if I don't have the vinegar peppers on hand I'll use sliced bell peppers, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes.

                            1. So are we talkin' Jimmy Dean or Owens here? :)

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                I was thinking more Italian style from Brooklyn.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  Yeah. That was just a lame attempt at a joke. Although when people start mentioning beer braising, kraut and mustard I start to think about brats (which I'm not that crazy about) or various wursts.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    Exactly, I have no prob with the brats, but I can't see a proper Italian braised in beer and served with sauerkraut and mustard, blech.

                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                        I agree as well. However the OP did not specify what kind of sausage was being used. So - the rest is just speculation ;-) Brats=beer/kraut=yes, Italian=beer/kraut=Absolutely not!

                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                          Well, the OP did mention peppers, so the assumption is Italian, but who knows...

                                          I noticed out of the corner of my eye a Chow Tip today, left hand site sideboard, that discussed "poaching" sausages before sauteeing or grilling, so as not to experience the exploding sausage syndrome. Check Chow Tip playlist for the .31 second vid.

                                          I used to pierce sausages as I sauteed or grilled them, but quickly realized I was releasing all those good juicy juices, fat and flavor, so I don't pierce them anymore.

                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                            I pierced the sausages *once*, and the boyfriend came over to the stove and yelled, "What are you DOOOING? THE JUICE!". I still remain in awe; he is a man who never so much as raises his voice unless provoked far beyond a threshold of anger that would leave most of us smashing dishes. I deserved it.

                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                              I guess I read it as "sausage" and "peppers" - which to me are two different things, not sausage "with" peppers. I wasn't necessarily thinking of a single item, but two separate items.

                                              Oh well - I must be off my game today. ;-( Must be a time for a glass of wine!

                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                "Must be a time for a glass of wine"

                                                It's mostly always time for that;-))

                                  2. Couldn't decide who to reply to, so I just went back to the OP.
                                    I guess that will teach me for starting a semi-controversy.

                                    I think I'll start with the sauerkraut issue first since (having recently completed my first homemade version) having previously hated it, I'm starting to love it. -
                                    Although it still wouldn't be my first choice as something to be served with/on Italian sausage, I guess it's not too much of a stretch to go from giardiniera (which I hear is popular with Italian sausage in Chicago) to sauerkraut. That said, I think for now I'll just stick with baby steps when it comes to sauerkraut and just put it on my hot dogs.- But, probably after I've had enough Black and Tan's, I'll eventually try it on the sausage if only for the sake of science.

                                    As for beer braising Italian sausage, we've never tried it with the sweet variety, but (for us) it works with mild and hot versions
                                    Beer braised kielbasa ain't bad either.

                                    As for mustard, due to the above mentioned homemade sauerkraut, I've just started with it on my hot dogs, so I'll have to experiment with it as a condiment on my Italian sausage before I add it to the whole pan......just not brave enough for that yet.

                                    As for caraway, it's probably already in the sausage I buy, so it won't take much courage for me to try to add some more.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                      To my mind wurst/mustard/beer/kraut is a northern and western European quartet, while Italian sausage/marinara/wine/peppers is a southern European combination. Not saying that a certain promiscuity couldn't work here, but I personally would stick with the classics.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        For the record, I recently used some of the excellent Italian sausage from the old Sicilian guy down the street in an impromptu choucroute: grilled the sausage just to brown it, sautéed onion and apple, added a drained can of Glory kraut and braised the sausage in it. Ate with smashed potatoes. Got a bit left over for lunch today, which makes me very happy.

                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                          PK, I think I agree w/ you for once!
                                          Carpe chow,

                                        2. re: Bryan Pepperseed


                                          Unless I'm misunderstanding your post, It's seems that you're saying that a sweet, mild and hot version of Italian sausage exists. I've only eaten sweet and hot, sweet being considered the "mild" version, leastwise in my 'hood.

                                          I'm on the Perilagu train, stick with the classics. I just can't wrap my mouth around a beer braised Italian style pork sausage.

                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                            BWG -
                                            Around here three exist. The difference between mild and sweet is that sweet contains basil.

                                            As for the beer, I think (probably not helped by the wording in my second post) I've given the wrong impression. What we do isn't exactly braising. The reason I said in my first post, "add the beer in stages and let it cook down before adding more." was an attempt to indicate that the purpose of the beer was mainly twofold:
                                            To be a flavorful way to keep the onions from burning and to deglaze any fond left by our sausage that has been left in another part of the pan to stay "crispy".
                                            The beer is added in such small amounts, that it barely (if at all) touches the sausage before boiling off.

                                        3. We prefer our Italian sausage grilled. While these are grilling, I pan fry the onions and peppers until caramelized. Beer braised and sauerkraut with Italian sausage- that's an infamnia.- IMHO.
                                          Beer to drink with sausages=OK

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: MNLisaB

                                            Grilled is the way to go! The only question is whether the sausages are cut up before being put on the bread or left whole (I come from a 'whole sausage' family, myself).

                                            1. re: MNLisaB

                                              "Beer braised and sauerkraut with Italian sausage- that's an infamnia." It tastes good to me. End of story. You don't like it, don't eat it.

                                            2. I cook the veggies first, clean the pan, then cook the meat. I find that cleaning the pan in between, works better. Veggies tend to leave their sugars, and sausages leaves its fat and fond.

                                              Using both, Sweet Italian and Hot Italian sausages, the sausages are wiped with olive oil, then split. Pepper goes on and that's it. Fry on medium heat, the skin side up first, then turn. Add the pepper to the top, and cover. Butter the rolls, and grill them golden. I like them soft with crunchiness. Add the sausage, to the rolls and load with peppers and softened caramelized onions. Add some cheese, such as a provolone, then wrap in foil and put in the oven on warm to keep them hot. Pass hot sauce, sweet and hot cherry peppers, jalapenos, and a few jars of mustard. As a personal preference we leave the sausage whole instead of cut.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                You have a standing invite to pop over to my hacienda and prepare this in my kitchen. Sounds most delish.