This one is about as simple and versatile as it gets. Our demonstration calls for:
1-1 1/2 lb of Italian Sausage (we like hot, you can use mild if you are a spicy food wuss)
2 Green Bell Peppers (red, yellow and/or orange would certainly work)
3-5 Cloves of Garlic (can never have too much garlic)
1 Onion (medium-large should suffice)
4 Potatoes (we used small Russets, red would probably work better)
Rosemary, Thyme, Red Pepper Flake, Salt, Pepper (use whatever seasonings you like)
Start off by par-cooking the sausage in a small amount of water. Do not aggressively boil the sausage, and there is no real need to season the water, either. Just get it hot enough to to brown the outside and and cook it most all of the way through on the inside. 5-10 minutes total, depending on the heat and the amount of sausage. Flip it once to ensure evenness. Make sure you have thawed the sausage prior to this step, of course. Just thaw that shit in the microwave. That’s how we roll.
During the sausage bath, go ahead and begin chopping your veggies. Large chunks are preferable for this, but it is not crucial to get them all the exact same size. Just rough chop them so they are close enough in size to ensure similar doneness.
Add all your veggies into the baking vessel of your choice. We are using a 9×13 Pyrex dishand an 8×8 Pyrex dish (not pictured) because, well, that is what we have. One of those large All Clad roasting pans would do the trick just perfect…but alas we do not have one of those.
If you can chop things quickly (or perhaps if your chopping is not interrupted by the need to entertain your 6 month old daughter) then your sausage (did you remember to flip it???) should be done. If it finishes and you still have veggie slicing and dicing to be done, just kill the heat and let it hang out in the pan while your finish it up. It is going into a hot ass oven for a long time, so it should be fine for a little time off the heat.
Time to slice up the sausage. This time, uniformity counts for a little more. You are going to want the sausage cut all to similar thickness, because, hey…you want your meat all thoroughly and evenly cooked. Cut em up to 1/4″-1/2″ thickness and introduce them to your veggies. Remember, also, that this sausage is still not cooked all the way through, so be mindful of cross contamination. Don’t use a wooden cutting board, and make sure to do lots of utensil and hand washing afterwards.
Once everything is chopped up and mingling in your cooking medium, it is time to season. We used dried rosemary, dried thyme, crushed red pepper flakes (again, not for spicy food wusses), kosher salt (go easy, want those onions to caramelize a bit) and freshly ground black pepper. For my money, rosemary is pretty crucial to this dish, so if you have it on hand I would use it. Otherwise, improvise. This mixture will take well to any type of seasoning. After you’ve got your herbage on there, give it a very, very, very light, thing coating of olive oil before you throw that puppy into the oven. Do NOT drown it. Just give it enough to coax a little browning out of the peppers and potatoes. You just want to give it a head start, though. The sausage will give up enough lipid loveliness to do the rest. Throw it into the oven. We usually do 375° for about one hour. Consider it done when the potatoes are done to your preference.
You may want to let it cool for a few minutes. It will be hot.
We just east this by itself without any side dishes. Red wine would be nice but because all I had was beer, I served it up with my Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and they went very well together. This meal is pretty simple and adaptable. Any combo of sausage, veggies and seasonings would work together fairly well in the same format, so you can just go ahead and use whatever you have laying around.