Thursday, October 16, 2014

A One-Dish Meal for Fall

This is on of those fairly easy throw-together meals, potentially put together ahead of time and layered in a single dish.
Just toss together a salad, perhaps offer fresh cranberry sauce, and open up some cider for a warm and homey fall dinner.
Maybe pull out some grainy mustard, too...

In this instance, since I've made the dish in an open pan and everything is cooked at a high heat, the sausages are roasted.

If you would like them instead braised, just bury them under everything else. That or cook the meal in a covered pot, such as a Dutch oven, to keep all that moisture completely contained.

There's a hint of maple syrup included. If you're not a maple fan, you're more than welcome to exclude it, but it only adds a hint of sweetness to the juices of the finished dish.
And if you're one who happens to love a maple-y flavor, add a bit more.

Sausage with Apples and Butternut Squash
serves 6 or more 

3 lb. (1.36 kg) butternut squash
1 t (5 g) salt
several good grinds fresh black pepper
3-4 apples (I prefer Honeycrisp or Braeburn)
3/4 t (scant 1 g) dried thyme
1/2 t (2 g) cinnamon
2 T (30 ml) olive oil
1 T (15 ml) good maple syrup
1 large yellow onion 
8-10 bratwurst

Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
Halve and peel the squash. Scoop out the seeds and cut the squash into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces. 
Place the squash in a 9x13 inch (or so) pan with sides (or a Dutch oven). Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper.
Peel the apples and cut into eight slices, then cut each slice in half so that the apple pieces are roughly the size of the pieces of squash. Scatter the apples over the squash, sprinkle with the dried thyme and dust with the cinnamon. 
In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and maple syrup. Drizzle the mixture over the top of everything. 
Cut the onion in half, pole to pole, and slice into 1 cm thick half moons. Layer pieces of onion over the apples. 
If a teetering pile, carefully place the sausages on top of everything (things will cook down a bit and slump). 
Place the dish in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes, or until the squash and sausages are fully cooked. 

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