Roasted Sausages and Grapes
Just as salty prosciutto and succulent figs are a natural flavor combination, so are sausages and grapes. Use more sweet sausages and fewer hot ones for a milder dish, but do use Italian sausages, as their fennel and garlic flavors are essential to the dish.
- Green Onions - 6 to 8 small
- Hot Italian Sausage - 1-1/2 pounds, cut into 3-inch lengths
- Sweet Italian Sausage - 1-1/2 pounds, cut into 3-inch lengths
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Red or Green Seedless Grapes - 2-1/2 pounds, stemmed (6 to 7 cups)
- Mashed Potatoes
- Red Potatoes - 2 pounds, small, peeled
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup, warmed
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), at room temperature
- Kosher Salt - 1 teaspoon, or to taste
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/4 cup
To prepare the sausages: Preheat the oven to 500 F, or its hottest setting. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prick the sausages with the tip of a knife or a metal skewer and add them to the boiling water. Boil the sausages gently for 8 minutes, then drain them and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large roasting pan over low heat. Add the grapes to the pan and toss to coat them with the butter. With tongs, transfer the parboiled sausages to the pan and push them down into the grapes so that the sausages will not brown too quickly.
Roast the sausages and grapes in the preheated oven, turning the sausages once, until the grapes are soft and the sausages have browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
To make the potatoes: Quarter the potatoes and place them in a large pot of lightly salted water, covering the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to medium, and cook the potatoes, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the saucepan. Place the pan over low heat and coarsely mash the potatoes with a potato masher or large forks, or, force them through a ricer or food mill into a bowl. Do not use a whisk or electric mixer; keep some texture in the potatoes. Slowly add the cream and butter to the potatoes and stir in the salt.
To make the sauce: When the sausages are done, transfer the sausages and grapes to a heated serving platter with a slotted spoon. Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium-high heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook the vinegar and juices until they are thick and syrupy.
To serve: Place a mound of mashed potatoes in the center of each plate. Place sausages against the potatoes and spoon grapes around the plates. Pour the sauce over the sausages, grapes, and potatoes.