There are few pleasures in life that compare to the feeling you get from feeding your loved ones a meal prepared from the heart. Especially if that meal includes memories of time spent in the field in pursuit of wild game.
A few weeks ago we showed you how to make sausage at home, now I’d like to share something you can do with it…
BEHOLD the sausage strata, a dish so dang good you’ll be tempted to keep eating past the point of having to subtly unbutton your pants at the table.
- Butter, enough to grease a 9″ x 13″ casserole pan and a dab more to stir fry with
- 1 large loaf of French bread, sourdough is best
- 1 1/2 cups of half & half cream
- 7 eggs
- 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
- 1 lb of sausage (I’m using wild pig and venison chorizo)
- 1 onion
- 1 bell pepper
- 8 oz. of mushrooms
- sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1) Start by greasing the pan well with butter. Remove the crust from the French bread, cut the remainder into 1 inch cubes and line the bottom of the pan.
2) In a bowl, whip the eggs, cream and mustard then pour the mixture over the bread. Make sure that all pieces of bread are soaked in the egg/cream mix.
3) In a frying pan, brown your sausage, cooking it until it is nearly done. (Make sure to not overcook it as it will finish up in the oven.) Remove the sausage and set aside.
4) Add a dab of butter to the browned juices in the pan and throw in the onions. Sauté the diced onion on low heat until it is nearly glazed then add the bell pepper and reintroduce the sausage. Be sure to remove the sausages from their casings and crumble the meat. ( I do it this way instead of cooking it with the onion from the beginning to ensure that the sausage is fried and not steamed).
5) When the onion, bell pepper and sausage mix is looking good add the mushrooms and cook covered on low heat for approximately 5 minutes. The goal here is to have the meat/veggie mixture look like this:
Notice that there isn’t a lot of liquid at the bottom of the pan. This will be critical when the ingredients are added to the bread to ensure that the end result is not a soggy mess. Taste test the mixture to see if it needs any salt or pepper. I like to use chorizo sausage which is salty and spicy enough.
6) Spread the veggie/sausage mix evenly over the top of the cream and egg soaked bread.
7) Top the whole thing off with a coat of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Make sure you put a good layer on – go ahead, don’t be skimpy, add more. Everyone loves melted cheese, don’t they?
8 ) Cover the dish with aluminum foil. At this point the dish can rest overnight in the fridge if you’d like (I prefer to do it this way, allowing me to throw it in the oven while rubbing the sleep from my eyes and easing into consciousness over a cup of coffee.)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and insert the aluminum covered dish for 20 minutes. Next, remove the foil and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the top is slightly browned and the bread is no longer bubbling with liquid.
Allow the dish to cool slightly and serve. Go ahead and tell your guests it’s acceptable to loosen their top pants buttons and moan with delight. 8)