Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar


Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

Photo courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated

– adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

*I was intrigued, tried it, LOVED it. I do believe in using the best quality ingredients you can get. Once you try the right (the good stuff) balsamic…it’s game over. DELICIOUS!  BTW, my enamel cast iron skillet/pot/casserole worked excellent! AND now that I made it, I know I will again but not be afraid 😀 Now I’ll have a better grasp of how high to have the heat, amounts of ingredients, etc..


Why This Recipe Works
Italian sausage with grapes is a great example of the affinity that pork and fruit flavors have for one another. We wanted to pay homage to this simple Italian dish and highlight the attributes that make it so appealing. Taking inspiration from a potsticker cooking method, we use a combination of sautéing and steaming to produce sausages that are nicely browned but moist and juicy. Building the sauce in the same skillet, we cook down seedless red grapes and thinly sliced onion until caramelized to create a sweet but complex sauce. White wine, in addition to balsamic vinegar, lends the dish acidity and complements the grapes. Oregano and pepper contribute earthiness and a touch of spice, while a finish of fresh mint adds brightness.
*NOTE FROM THE TEST KITCHEN Our favorite supermarket balsamic vinegar is Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Serve this dish with crusty bread and salad for a heartier meal.


1 tbs vegetable oil
1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
1 lb seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise (3 cups)
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
¼ cup water
¼ tsp pepper
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
2 tbs chopped fresh mint


* 1. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange sausages in pan and cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, about 5 minutes. Tilt skillet and carefully remove excess fat with paper towel.




Distribute grapes and onion over and around sausages.





Photo courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated


Add water and immediately cover. Cook, turning sausages once, until they register between 160 and 165 degrees and onions and grapes have softened, about 10 minutes.




* 2. Transfer sausages to paper towel–lined plate and tent with aluminum foil. Return skillet to medium-high heat and stir pepper and salt into grape-onion mixture. Spread grape-onion mixture in even layer in skillet and cook without stirring until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is well browned and grapes are soft but still retain their shape, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat to medium, stir in wine and oregano, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until wine is reduced by half, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar.



* 3. Arrange sausages on serving platter and spoon grape-onion mixture over top. Sprinkle with mint and serve.



The Right Way to Cook Sausage


Moderate heat develops flavorful browning without burning. Then, adding a little water to the pan and covering it gently steams the sausages so they cook up juicy.

The point of this recipe is to cook sausage so that it is done (160°-165°), with good color and FLAVOR, but not burst/split open. And it worked…was great!

















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