Sausage Dinner Skillet Recipe with Leeks, Fennel, and Apple
This sausage skillet with leeks, fennel, and apple, is a perfect weeknight dinner recipe. The sausages are browned and then baked low and slow with seasonal ingredients 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.
A cozy and delicious meal.
- 3 leeks
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 small apples
- 1½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pound pork sausages (or chicken sausages)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 cup dry white wine or dry hard cider
- black pepper, freshly ground, 4-5 grinds
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Clean leeks. Slice white part and light green part only. Remove fennel fronds, core, and cut into large chunks. Core apples and cut into 1/2-inch 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 sliced 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 wine or cider 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!