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Smothered Sausage with Rice & Gravy
Four to six links of fresh (as opposed to smoked) sausage
Cooking oil (just enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
1 large onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1/2 cayenne pepper diced (optional, for heat)
1 clove of garlic, minced
The key is to use a heavy cast iron or Magnalite pot so that you can really brown the heck out of your sausage. Start by heating just enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the cooking vessel. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the whole links of sausage and brown each piece thoroughly. It's a little tricky to brown the sausage as you have to continually turn each link in small increments. Don't try to rush this part. The key here is to really brown the links thoroughly – almost to the point of burning them – so that you generate a lot of that good gradoux (the good stuff that sticks to your bottom of your pot) which is essential to making a good Cajun gravy.
Once all the links are browned, add your chopped onion and peppers. Sauté them for about 10 minutes or until the onions are very translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté the vegetables for another 30 seconds or so. Add water to deglaze the pot – not enough to completely cover the sausage, but close. Use a wooden spoon (or gumbo paddle) to scrape all the good stuff that stuck to the bottom, then reduce the heat to simmer and put a lid on it. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Add water occasionally, as needed, to keep the meat from sticking and to make sure you end up with enough liquid to make a gravy.
Note: After it has been simmering a few minutes, taste it and add salt and pepper if needed. Most Cajun sausages you get down here are already seasoned enough that I don't need to add anything.
Depending on how thick you like your gravy, you might want to mix a little cornstarch in cold water and add it to the pan at the very end of the process. If so, be sure to bring the dish back up to a low boil so that the gravy will thicken.
(Tip: If your gravy isn't as dark as you'd like it, it's probably a sign that you didn't brown the sausage enough. To darken it, you can always stir in a drop or two of Kitchen Bouquet Browning Sauce.)
Serve over cooked white rice and enjoy!
Tonnere mes chiens c’est bon!
Hope you enjoy!
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