|Sausage and Potato Stew
This is another one of those dishes that evoke happy memories. My mother used to make it all the time when I was growing up and she still does, especially when my brothers and I visit. In this recipe we mix uncooked and cooked sausages. If you use uncooked sausages, such as Italian, the fat that is released as they brown will help brown the potatoes and onions. If you use only cooked sausages, such as knockwurst, kielbasa, or frankfurters, add some oil when browning them so that there is enough fat in the pan to brown the potatoes and the onions. Keep in mind that the sausages, depending on the type, will impart their flavor, whether spicy, anise, or smoky, to the onions and the potatoes.
1 pound Italian sausages (a mixture of hot and sweet)
1 pound knockwurst (6 sausages)
1/2 pound veal bratwurst (or pork)
6 medium onions, peeled (1 pound)
2 pounds small to medium potatoes, peeled
6-8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Place the uncooked (Italian) sausages and 1/3 cup water in a large pot so that they are in one layer. Cook slowly on medium heat. The water will evaporate after a few minutes but will help the sausages to release their fat. After 5 minutes, add the knockwurst and the bratwurst to brown. After 10 to 12 minutes, the sausages should be brown all over. Remove to a plate and set aside.
If you are using only the knockwurst, bratwurst, and/or kielbasa, add 1/3 cup oil to the pan and omit the water. Add the onions and potatoes to the fat and brown on medium to low heat, uncovered, for approximately 20 minutes. Add the garlic and sausages and cook another 20 minutes, covered, on very low heat. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Serve the potatoes and sausages with a little bit of the natural juices and a salad.
6 SERVINGS Jaques Pepin