My mom used to stretch her meat budget with "fillers" like breads, biscuits, and lots of potatoes. Growing up on a farm during the Depression and being the cook for the family as well as the traveling workers, she learned to make big meals out of few ingredients! Mom took the country fair classic and turned them into a filling scrumptious dinner for us. To this day, these sandwiches don't taste right to me unless they have the potatoes in them!
Be sure to NOT eat these over your lap unless you are wearing a drop cloth. They are delightfully drippy and messy!!
Mom's Sausage Grinders
2 1/2 lb. Italian-style sausage - either pork or turkey / mild or hot - your choice!
2-3 green peppers - or whatever color pepper you like!
2 med. onions
(or completely "laze out" and get 2 bags of sliced peppers and onions)
3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 t oregano
1 t basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 12 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 c. Parmesan
1/2 T sugar
(opt.: crushed red pepper)
Cook the sausages the Italian way: Place them in a skillet and cover them halfway with water. Put a lid on the skillet and let them simmer away about 15 min. Flip them over and let them cook away, lid off, at a quick simmer until the water is ALMOST gone - listen for them - they'll start to sizzle. If you want to finish them on the grill, go for it. But doing them this way keeps the sausages from drying out, they are thoroughly cooked, and they're not burned! (I learned THIS trick from Sophia Loren and Anthony Quinn in a movie!!!)
In the meantime, wash the potatoes and cut into small chunks. (Or peel them first, if you must.)
Slice the peppers and onions.
Dump all the veggies in a large skillet with olive oil, S/P and fry away about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until you start to get a little caramelization on the veggies.
Cut the sausages into bite sized pieces.
Put the meat, the veggies and the rest of the ingredients (except the bread) into the skillet and simmer away until the sauce has been reduced to really thick OR place into your slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours (open the lid vent OR place a fork under the edge of the lid so the liquid cooks down).
Place the sausages and veggie mixture into rolls that have been split and brushed with a little butter and fast-grilled to toast. For those who like them spicier, pass the crushed peppers around.
Best served with an icy-cold beer (and followed with a fresh fruit pie!)
Dumpsterkitty is this week's Recipe Detective!
with an able assist from It'sOnlyPuppyLove(NY)!!!