I Love Sausages. (I know, some of you know me as the Veggie Patty Peddling guy at Saturday's Burlington Farmers' Market, I eat both ways.) Anyway, If I was ever to give up meat completely, the thing that I would miss most is sausages grilled to perfection on a hot summer evening. Well, I'd miss sausages prepared most any way, but grilling is my favorite.
Now, I hope that I don't have to say this, but make sure that they are good quality sausages - hopefully from one of the farmers over at market. My favorite is anything from Maple Wind Farm (http://maplewindfarm.com/
), but any of the meat farmers at markets have excellent links.
Anyway, there is a problem inherent with grilling sausages. If they are too fatty, there are too many flames and flare ups. The outside gets kinda charred, while the inside is not so perfectly cooked. If they are not fatty enough, then they get dry and, um, not good. I got this tip from Cooks Illustrated last summer and it is now the only way that I will grill sausages...
- Get a Medium-Hot grill going.
Take an aluminum roasting pan (if you don't want to use aluminum, I have done this in a small cast iron dutch over pan, it just needs to have a good lid)
Layer the bottom of the pan with sliced onioni rounds, sliced potatoes, a bunch of sauerkraut, peppers - basically anything that you'd like as a side to your sausages.
As you layer the veggies, season them however you'd like.
Then lay the sausages in a single layer right on top of the veggies and cover tightly.
Place pan on the grill for, oh say 18 minutes (or so), move pan to a cooler area of the grill.
Open pan up, and take out the sausages, and place right onto the grill to finish.
You can stir the veggies or keep them in a nice layered fashion.
Basically, you get a side dish, cooked with the fabulously flavored rendered fat from the sausages, and sausages that stay moist, and then are perfectly smoky and charred from the finishing on the grill. It's really good!
If you're interested in more variations, this is taken from the July-August 2008 edition of Cooks Illustrated.
Any grilling tips as we get into summer and start grilling some more?