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Monday, April 16, 2012

Perfect Breakfast Sausages

My wife loves breakfast sausages.  Usually so healthy-minded about processed-foods, she even loves those gross sausage "patties" you get in breakfast sandwiches at places like Tim Hortons and McDonalds...BLECH.

Myself, on the one or two occasions a month when I'll actually have some sort of breakfast meat, I prefer bacon.  A nice thick-cut pancetta actually, is my favourite.

But, anyway, I had a hankering for some searing-hot (piquante not caliente :) ) french toast and I knew my wife wouldn't really love my putting too much pepper in the toast so I decided to mitigate that by offering up some beautiful (or as the post title suggests, perfect) breakfast sausages.

Of course you can't just use any old crappy sausages for them to be truly perfect, so our journey today began with some local, organic, fresh sausages.

These babies were good.  And not all that expensive, really.  Totally worth it.

In order to get them to look gorgeous, you need to have a shallow (frying) pan with a lid.

Like this guy:

He's nice.  Anodized aluminum and non-stick, he's definitely one of my best pans.  And he knows it.

Anyway, place the sausages neatly in the pan with a few centimetres of water in the bottom.  

Arrange them so they have plenty of room between them.  If you're cooking many sausages, obviously you'd use a larger pan.  Cook them in batches if you don't have a larger pan with a lid.

So we're essentially 'poaching' the sausages initially.

Give them a good ten minutes on medium, after it's been brought to a boil.  Give the sausages a turn once half-way through.

After about 10 minutes, whether the water has evaporated completely or not, take the pan off of the heat for a sec.  If there is still some water in the pan, just drain it off.  The sausages should look pretty bland and blanched.

Now give a gentle splash of oil to the pan.  Any oil will do.  Myself, I used some flavoured herb-de-provence extra virgin olive oil.  Give the pan a shake or three to get the sausages neatly coated, and then put it back on the fire.  Medium, or medium-high if you're going to be there to pay attention.

Grab your tongs, and after a few minutes gently lift one out to see what it looks like on the bottom.  Wait until it's golden and then flip them all over 180°.

Give the pan another couple of gentle shakes to make sure their sitting well, and that there's some oil on their undersides, and then give them another few minutes.

Once the other side is golden as well, gently roll them over again, but this time make it only 90°.  This can be tricky - especially since most sausages are relatively 'banana-shaped' and don't want to lie on that side.  What I usually do is crowd them close together and up against one side of the pan, using their proximity to each other to help keep them up.  They only need a minute or two on this side.

Anyway, after that give the pan a really good couple of shakes to make sure they soak up whatever is left in the pan, and then go ahead and plate them.

Mmmmmm...  Even I want to eat these.

I served these with a half dozen pieces of spicy french toast.

If you look closely, you can see all the pepper in the french toast.


Next, add copious amounts of syrup.