One of my best mates emailed me this morning from snowy Oxfordshire wondering if LA was awash in sunshine and fake snow. In fact, I was recently at a dinner party where a guest shared that she brings in a snow machine on Christmas morning to blanket her front garden, much to the irritation of the neighbors (to say nothing of the environment). But I digress. The short answer is “no.” For the past week LA has been deluged by biblical rain with streets flooding, mud sliding down hillsides, well, you get the un-sunny picture. Which means all one wants to do is hunker down with a nice braised bowl of something and watch reruns of Arrested Development. To that end, last night I braised sausages in red wine with pluots, sage, garlic and shallots.
Weirdly, I’ve been seeing pluots at our markets, but seedless grapes would also be a nice seasonal substitute for this easy and comforting dish from Molly Stevens’s All About Braising. Click HERE for recipe. I used Cabernet for the pretty red sauce because it was what I had open, but it ended up being a little too tannic, so do follow Molly’s advice about using a lighter and fruitier style red like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
I also made up a pot of polenta, Zuni style, which means slow and low and very little stirring. And because I’m a Bay Area girl I like Golden Pheasant polenta, which is a little more coarse than some polenta and adds a wonderful toothiness to this dish. Oh, and I skip the parm but feel free to gild the lily.
The polenta takes about an hour and a half all in, so start that going first and then prep and braise the sausages. And then dish up a bowlful and settle into a Charlie Brown Christmas, Arrested Development–style: