Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chimay and Sausage Stew

Recently I was looking for a quick new recipe to try and I had a few andouille sausages that I wanted to use up. I chose a dish that I had just pulled out of the July issue of Food & Wine for a Hungarian Sausage Stew with Ale and adapted it to my preferences (and my refrigerator). Rich, with a little kick, and great paired with the rest of the Chimay I opted to use as the ale, I will keep it in the repertoire. Chris made one suggestion, though, that I think I’ll take him up on next time. He decided that instead of serving it simply as a stew with crusty bread on the side, he would really like it spooned over rice. I think this is actually a really good idea – having that nice bed of starchiness (rice or couscous, for that matter) could round out the meal nicely and balance the kick and textures. You could even add some spinach to the stew for something green. Or add a lightness with a simple green salad on the side. But, however you choose to serve it, I recommend getting the big bottle of ale, tipping it back for a toast before drinking the rest and enjoying your meal.

Hungarian Sausage Stew
(adapted from Food & Wine, July 2012)

5 slices center cut bacon, cut into about 1/4 in pieces
1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
12 oz andouille sausage (or, as the original recipe calls for, kielbasa or chorizo)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon paprika
1 ¼ pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup Chimay or other ale
1 bay leaf
freshly ground pepper
quick-cooking rice or couscous

In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-low until slightly crisp. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and bell peppers and cook until softened and lightly browned. Stir in the sausage slices, red pepper, and paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until softened and they begin to break down. Pour in the beer and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low or moderate-low, cover lightly, and cook about 15minutes more. While the stew is finishing, cook the rice or couscous. Season the stew with salt and pepper and serve scooped atop the rice or couscous. 

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