Poached Pears with Sausage and Bad King John
Sausage and Pears are natural bedfellows, and the sweet/savoury relationship that they share can be enhanced with some additions in the pan. Choose a robust sausage but it has to be pork – beef won’t quite taste the same. Firstly, take your sausage and chop into chunks, then put on a baking tray and cook in the oven. At 200c they’ll take about 30 minutes. I find that cooking them in the oven leaves them a little drier and less oily that frying can sometimes bring.
Meanwhile, in a large pan, take a tin of pears (tinned pears are softer already, so you save cooking time there; plus, I find they taste more ‘peary‘ than fresh, which is one of those curiosities of the tinning process, I guess!) and put in a large pan with a small knob of butter and one large sliced onion.
Over a low heat, gently saute the onion and pear (reserving some of the juice) and when they have gone translucent, add a splash of Balsamic Vinegar. It won’t take much to add colour and depth to the now-getting-mushy pears and onion, so be careful. Add a teaspoon of muscovado or light brown sugar, a little of the pear juice and keep simmering over a low heat. What you’ll end up with is a tart, sweet & sou,r chunky fruit mash. Keep tasting, and when you’re happy, turn off the heat and add the sausage. Stir, then pour into a warmed bowl and enjoy scooped up with sliced bread.
Beer-wise, I enjoyed a Bad King John (6%abv) by Oxfordshire’s Ridgeway Brewing. Famous for winning 2011’s Sainsbury’s Beer Challenge, it’s a complex beer but nowhere as fearsome as the label may suggest. There’s a slightly phenolic note to the nose, which is backed up by touches of oaky smoke and espresso coffee. But on the sip all that fades under a rounded softness, fuzzing the edges with soft blackcurrant and plum. The finish is bitter, but only fleetingly so. It compliments the sausage and pear perfectly, and leaves the whole meal with a warming, satisfying cuddle as the snow melts away and the rain and gales lash the windows.
Bad King John? Not nearly.
Posted on 28/01/2013, in Beer and Food, Uncategorized and tagged Bad King John, Food and Beer, Ridgeway Brewing, Sainsbury's Beer Hunt, Sausage and Pear, Winter Food. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.