Beer braised sausage with cheesy potato, curried apples and crispy basil

Mattinata Sausage

**Serves six


  • 2 pounds pork butt (2 1/2 pounds with bone), diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound fat back, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Special equipment: meat grinder


Combine diced pork with all other ingredients and chill for one hour. Using the fine blade of a grinder, grind the pork. Form into one-inch rounds or stuff into pork casings. Refrigerate and use within one week or freeze for up to three months.

For immediate use, saute patties over medium-low heat in a non-stick pan. Saute until brown and cooked through, approximately 10 minutes.

Or stuff into pork casings and poach in seasoned pilsner style beer with a couple sprigs of thyme and 20 or so black peppercorns. Sausage can stay in the beer bath until the potatoes are done and everything else is ready to serve. Then just remove from beer bath after a minimum of 20 min and finish cooking in a cast iron pan or on the grill to give the sausage texture and flavor.

Mashed Potatoes

**Serves six


  • 1 1/2 lbs yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and quartered length-wise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Black Pepper
  • .25 cup mozzarella, small dice
  • 5 tablespoons parmesan, freshly grated


Put potatoes into a saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add water until potatoes are covered. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, or until done -- fork can easily poke through them.

Warm cream and melt butter, together in a pan on the stove. Drain water from potatoes. Put hot potatoes into a bowl. Add cream and melted butter. Use potato masher to mash potatoes until well mashed. Use a strong whisk or spoon to further cream out the potato, adding milk to achieve the consistency you desire. (Do not over-beat or your potatoes will get gluey.) Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

When you are ready to serve, add your cheeses and beat potato in the pan until the cheese has melted and the potato has started to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Curried Apples


  • 3 ea apples, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup yellow olive oil
  • 4 teaspoon curry powder, use a good yellow one with plenty of turmeric


Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a 1-cup metal measure or very small metal bowl combine curry powder and oil. Set measuring cup or bowl on a baking sheet and cook in lower third of oven 40 minutes. Cool on a rack 30 minutes.

Line a small strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and strain oil into a glass jar. Flavored oil keeps, covered loosely and refrigerated at all times, one month.

Saute diced apples for three to four so that they are cooked but not too soft. Add to curry oil.


Plate warm potatoes on the bottom, top with sauteed greens (pea tendrils or baby spinach). Add sausage and drizzle sautéed apples with a little of the curry oil around the dish. Serve and enjoy.