No food subject inspires me to wax eloquently more so than the modest sausage.
Born of the most humble origins and made from castoff ingredients that otherwise might find little use. But when seared over an open fire that makes its flesh split and its juices bubble and flame, what could possibly be better?
This is a food idea that has been around for thousands of years. At first its primary use was to cure and extend the life of meat. If you were a hunter gatherer, a kill would soon spoil, so preservation could be life-sustaining.
For some reason the passion for sausages that the Europeans have did not make the trans-Atlantic crossing. How many varieties can you find at your grocery?
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A well-stocked German market might have more than 30 to choose from, the frugal Brits might have only a dozen, but all of these would be artisan made and not from a nameless factory somewhere.
I am not a fan of any of the more common brand names you will find at the grocery, all save one: Conecuh from Evergreen, Ala. This is a great sausage, but it is best used in gumbo, jambalaya and similar recipes.
Best grilled sausage
1 package fresh sausage (Mild Italian would be a good choice)
1 bottle beer (I prefer Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan)
Spicy German mustard
Get your fire going first, it will be ready just as the flames die down. Simmer the sausage in the beer until they are firm (this will help keep the juices in when they hit the hot fire). Remove and slather with a little mustard, then grill until they just start to char. Serve with that same great German mustard and a bit of local, crusty bread.