June 13, 2010

Caramelized Onions and Apples with "Sausages" and Beer

Caramelized Onions and Apples with "Sausages" and Beer

Very simple, yet unique and tasty, this recipe screams Eastern European delicacy...and lo and behold, it's vegan! Not something you'd typically find in the cuisine of that region, but use vegan sausages as a stand-in for kielbasa, and you've got a hearty, super satisfying comfort food that should last you for a few meals.

The majority of the cooking in this recipe is the apple-onion mixture, which requires cooking sliced apples and thyme in butter (the vegan kind, I used Earth Balance), then caramelizing the onions for about 20 minutes. The recipe suggests 10-15, but I've never been able to caramelize onions that quickly. And you'll want a nice rich, deep brown color anyway...and that's going to take some time. But once they're caramelized, add the cooked apples, beer, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Cook this for a few minutes, and you're pretty much done. The recipe says the sauce should thicken after a while, but mine never really did...no worries, it was still tasty.

Serve the sausages over the apple-onion mixture, and voila: you've got one of the best combinations ever of sweet and savory. The mixture is VERY sweet...so sweet in fact, that you MAY want to think about omitting the brown sugar, or at least halving the amount. Surprisingly, I didn't taste the beer too much, so the savory elements all came from the sausages. The onions were very sweet, and almost tasted fruit-like.

Although the recipe suggest serving the sausages whole on top of the mixture (much more traditional, I'm sure), I actually liked cutting mine up, sauteeing them, and then tossing the pieces with the mixture (I tried this with the leftovers). The serving size of two sausages per person seemed a bit much as well: I was satisfied with one sausage, and two made me feel as if I were busting at the seams. And ESEPCIALLY if you plan on serving this over pasta (as suggested, but I wouldn't recommend), you should only use one sausage. This will be more than enough food!

Make again? Yes. There's nothing better than faux meat and beers! Oh, and this dish tastes ESPECIALLY good served alongside a nice cold one.

Caramelized Onions and Apples with "Sausages" and Beer
Vegetarian Times, March 2006

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