The Wurst Is Yet To Come

25 Jun

I’ve been thinking about sausages a lot lately.

MTA Bus Depot

I blame Luisa. She invited me to a blogger dinner at my favorite East Village Ukranian joint, Veselka, last week in honor of Shuna who was in town. The conversation was bright and lively and though carried out while munching on pierogis and kielbasa (Polish sausage), it inevitably turned to ice cream. For this I blame David and his book. He’s turned a world of rational women into ice cream obsessed zombies.

It seems Luisa has been aching for an ice cream maker for this very reason. The always amusing and astute Deb said that rather than buying an ice cream maker she should buy a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and get the ice cream making attachment. Finally, not being one to lust after homemade ice cream (except for this stuff), I saw my entry into this conversation. “Oh, and if you have a stand mixer you can also get the meat grinder attachment and make sausages!” I interjected. Luisa turned to me, laughing, and said something to the effect of, “Ann, if anyone at this table is the one to make sausages, it’s not me, it’s you!” I had to admit, she had a point.

And so, I blame Luisa for my current sausage obsession.

But wait, no, not just Luisa, also Salman Rushdie.

Wild Yarrow

I was sitting on the train reading Fury, heading to the Greenmarket. There’s a wonderful scene where a hapless young gentleman offers a woman his sausage, to which she sharply retorts, “Oh, but there are some animals I simply never eat.”

You see, simply by the accident of their shape, sausages are a funny, embarrassing food; the subject of many jokes, double entendres and awkward moments.

Once I went to my favorite Polish grocery, Eagle Provisions in the South Slope, to buy kielbasa. There were some smaller sausages I had never seen before, so I asked the disarmingly handsome man behind the counter what they were. He said something completely unintelligible to me, and then leaned across the counter in a secretive, sly, conspiratorial way, and whispered, “In my village, we call them little penises. Would you like to try one?” I blushed from the top of my head to my very tiniest toe and stammered something that I think could have been interpreted as yes or no, then he winked at me and said, “Why not I just slip you one?” I think it was at that point that I stumbled backwards, grasped for my package of kielbasa, tripped over a little old lady and nearly took out the entire display of spices.

Beets & Baby Carrots

I had been sent off to the market on Saturday with only one specific instruction: buy baby carrots and whatever else I could find suitable for roasting. The weekend was going to be relatively cool and therefore suitable for culinary activities involving the oven. I found the carrots and gorgeous multi-colored beets, went nutsy buying lettuces and grabbed some other staples before I realized I was very nearly out of money.

But I had sausages on the brain. I needed to buy some bangers.

Beets & Baby Carrots

I approached one stand where a woman was fretting over whether or not the sausages contained wheat gluten. When did gluten intolerance become the new lactose intolerance? Unfortunately for me and my sausage cravings, the proprietor indulged her (most likely) made up concern and launched into a long winded diatribe about how he wasn’t sure what was in his sausages because the FDA won’t let him grind his own and then sell them. Yawn.

Beets & Baby Carrots

So I wandered further up the market to Flying Pigs Farms where I asked the guy what he could sell me for $8. “Anything!” he said. Ah, music to my ears. I settled on herb sausages which are a most magical fate for any pig.

Roasted Bangers, Beets & Baby Carrots

Porky, fatty and herby, the sausages didn’t hide from the roasted vege. Although I felt there was one odd, off-note to the dish the boy was over the moon. He’d been craving a meal like this for months and was heartily satisfied. I was just happy I could stop obsessing over sausages. I was beginning to feel like a walking Freudian slip.

Head below the jump for the recipe for Bangers, Beets & Baby Carrots.

Bangers, Beets & Baby Carrots

prep time: 20 minutes ~ cooking time: at least 1 hour

  • 2 bunches Baby Carrots, well scrubbed
  • 2 bunches Baby Beets, well scrubbed
  • 1 head Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Sweet Onion, peeled and chopped
  • fresh Thyme
  • fresh Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Sausages of your choice and amount, cut into rounds

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the carrots, beets, garlic and onions in a roasting pan. Add the thyme and rosemary to taste, season liberally with salt and coat with a healthy glug of olive oil. Using your hands or a spoon mix the ingredients together to make sure they are well coated in salt and oil and that any larger vegetables are on the top of the heap.

Place in the oven and allow to cook, tossing every now and then about 45 minutes.

Check the vegetables for doneness. If they’re not softening, turn the heat up to 350°F and allow to cook as longer. Add the sausages about 10 minutes before the vegetables are done. Return to the oven and cook for those final 10 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and toss to coat.

This is, unfortunately, a very hard recipe to write accurately as all the cooking times depend on the size of your vege and the temperature of your oven. Use your instincts.

To serve: Season with a little ground pepper and serve alongside a hearty green salad with a really good loaf of bread. Enjoy!


17 Responses to “The Wurst Is Yet To Come”

  1. Luisa June 25, 2007 at 11:26 am #

    I would like to, at this point, respectfully request that when (and there is no if, because you really need to do this) you get around to making your own sausages, I get to try some. I’m your inspiration! Me and Salman! Come on! :)

  2. Mary June 25, 2007 at 11:40 am #

    Dear Ann – I’ve got the Kitchen Aid mixer, the sausage making attachment, the ice cream maker (and David’s book). I respectfully resubmit my request that we get married and live happily ever after with (or would that be without?) our sausages.


  3. deb June 25, 2007 at 1:01 pm #

    I love this! And I’m with Luisa, but I’m actually banging my fork and knife rudely on the table, “Me want sausages!” I’m also echoing what Mary said, which is that with the KitchenAid, you’ve got two those attachments (sold separately, natch) plus one for pasta and another for citrus-squeezing (read: margaritas!). I don’t mean to harp on the point. I only wish I’d known this when I was setting up my kitchen-shop, and am cluttered with way too many single-use gizmos.

    P.S. Are either you or Luisa have a huuuge hankering for Veselka cabbage soup this week? I don’t think I can hold out until winter to get more.

  4. Lisa (Homesick Texan) June 25, 2007 at 1:09 pm #

    I’m sold, on the Kitchen Aid that is–I was going to buy the Cuisnart Ice thingamajig, but with such little space it was hard to justify, ice cream obsession or not. But a sausage-making attachment plus an ice-cream making attachment makes the Kitchen Aid almost a bargain. Plus they come in orange. Now if I could just figure out a way to justify a stove-top smoker.

  5. radish June 25, 2007 at 3:33 pm #

    I think it’s only fair that I get some sausages too, after all, i was the one heavily drooling while the conversation was taking place.. and then we were talking about hand-cranking meat grinders… :) speaking of sausage – we grilled some amazing sausage from Florence Meat Market this past Saturday night! YUM!

  6. lobstersquad June 25, 2007 at 3:46 pm #

    not that the sausages don´t sound great, but I´m so jealous about your dinner. So many favourite bloggers and Veselka, to boot!

  7. ann June 26, 2007 at 6:45 am #

    Luisa — Absolutely! We’ll have a non-ironic sausage party ;-)

    Mary — That’s the worst pun in a long line of bad puns in this post. Awesome!

    Deb — No week passes when I don’t hanker for cabbage of some sort, I think that’s why we settled in BR, so that we’d be close to a meal the Boy calls “Cabbage 6-ways.”

    Lisa(HT) — You should check out that oven smoked ribs they did on America’s Test Kitchen a few months ago! You could totally do it without buying any extra kitchen bling which would ease your conscious about buying a stand mixer.

    Radish — How could I leave that out?! Bad blogger! The hand cranked meat grinder my mom has that she inherited from her grandmother is far more likely to actually make it’s way into my kitchen than the Kitchen Aid, so if that happens… Well, non-ironic sausage party!

    Lobstersquad — When you’re next in NYC now we know where to take you for your blogger party!! That is as long as you let us know that you’re coming for a visit.

  8. Luisa June 26, 2007 at 9:08 am #

    Cabbage soup, cabbage soup, cabbage soup – and kielbasa! I think we need another run to Veselka soon, 93 degrees in the shade be damned. And Ximena – come on over to NYC soon!

  9. Christina June 26, 2007 at 2:14 pm #

    Ah, sausage. So funny, so yummy, so good. I don’t blame you for having a hankering.

    My man gave me the Kitchen Aid and friends gave me Ruhlman’s Charcuterie for Christmas, and my man’s parents gave me the meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachments for my birthday last week.

    I’ve got all the goods I need. Now, I just need to get on it.

  10. wellunderstood June 27, 2007 at 6:52 am #

    thanks for the link! i love drooling all of your beautiful pictures . . .

  11. Terry B June 27, 2007 at 11:07 am #

    Yeah, I think the gluten intolerance thing ranks right up there with restless leg syndrome [when are these poor people going to get a telethon, for pete’s sake?]. Sausage is good. So is this post. Thanks, Ann!

  12. ann June 27, 2007 at 7:12 pm #

    Luisa — You name the time, I’ll be there! God I love their salad dressing.

    Christina — Tackle the sausages after the pickles ;-) I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

    wellunderstood — my pleasure! thanks for the lovely compliment!

    TerryB — You know, I actually know a woman with restless leg syndrome… Apparently it’s more of a pain the patookis for her husband. She kicks him in her sleep all night long, or at least she blames the RLS ;-)

  13. mat June 28, 2007 at 6:08 pm #

    My kingdom for a good sausage!

    I’ve been eye-balling getting some sort of meat-grinder, sausage stuffing apparatus(es) lately. The sausage selection near my place in Vancouver is pathetic. The updscale, snooty, ridiculously expensive yuppie butcher (who doesn’t even do their own butchering!) has horrible, dry, mealy sausages in 12 different flavours. I need to enter Tourist Hell and go to the Granville Island market (quite the ways away) to get to the one decent store – the sausage and pate guy who rocks my socks. But it’s too far, and some days I just get cravings.

    I need to make sausages. I just finished my hand and curing and smoking bacon (too salty, need to attempt again) and I’m eyeballing a batch of pate or seven.


  14. sher June 30, 2007 at 12:47 am #

    My mom made sausages–and it is really worth it. Back then it was a lot more complicated than now. I remember she had an old fashioned grinder. It gave me nightmares–I would dream I fell into it and was ground up!

  15. ann June 30, 2007 at 9:21 am #

    mat — Those are some lofty goals! sorry about the dearth of sausages on Vancouver. If it didn’t look like paradise, I’d feel really, really sorry for you ;-)

    Sher — My mom had one of those too and you’re right, so scary. I blame cartoons for my fear of meat grinding!

  16. elarael July 8, 2007 at 7:04 am #

    The Polish sausage seller was hilarious! When I worked in restaurants the staff was often from Europe, and there was the same kind of extremely earthy humor, but with out any rudeness. A bit disconcerting for a straight-laced American girl to encounter, but it was so clearly about humor and not meant to offend on any level. It was all about just how skillfully the edge could be played, without descending too far. Growing up without brothers, those guys were quite an education!

  17. Kevin August 30, 2007 at 8:01 am #

    Mat – Oyama Sausage Co rocks my world too. I live 1200km away and I’d consider driving to Van just to enjoy their duck confit, saucisson sec, rillettes, etc. Best Charcuterie I’ve seen, by far, outside of Europe.

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