Sausage Dinner Skillet Recipe with Leeks, Fennel, and Apple
In this sausage dinner skillet recipe with leeks, fennel, and apple, the sausages are browned and then baked low and slow in a thyme-scented cider gravy.
The low and slow cooking method of braising (cooking ingredients in a covered vessel with fat and liquid) yields flavors that are rich and satisfying. The leeks, fennel, and apple all cook down into an unctuous combination of sweet and savory. I like using white wine for the braising liquid, but a hard apple cider could work as well, although the final dish would be a bit sweeter. This one-pot meal leaves you with a full belly and not much clean-up, perfect for a satisfying weeknight meal.
Sausage Braised with Leeks, Fennel, and Apples
- 1½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pound pork or chicken sausages
- 3 leeks, white part and softer green part only, cleaned and sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 cup dry white wine or dry hard cider
- 1 fennel bulb, fronds removed, cored, and cut into large chunks
- Fresh ground black pepper 4-5 grinds
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 small apples, cored & cut into ½” slices
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the oil and butter in an ovenproof skillet (cast iron works great!) over medium heat and fry the sausages until evenly browned, 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Turn heat up to medium-high and add the leeks and ½ teaspoon salt to the sausage pan and sauté for 5 minutes until they start to soften and brown slightly. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Slowly pour in the cider or wine and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the stuck bits of the bottom of the pan. Add the fennel and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Add the browned sausages back to the pan, then cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Add the apples to the pan, cover and cook for 15 minutes more, or until the apples are just tender. Adjust seasonings and serve!