I feel like I’m treading on sacred ground here, well at least in the mid-west anyhow. Sausage, green beans and potatoes were a staple of many working class family when I was growing up. Understand, I don’t want to change it, just elevate it. It was my goal to keep the integrity of the dish the same as what I grew up with, while enhancing the flavors, the texture and the overall experience of the dish.
There’s just something special about fall, there’s a nip in the air and the colors are more vibrant. It’s times like this that I’m taken back to my childhood days when Mom would put a big pot of green beans, potatoes, and sausage on and let it simmer. I can still remember the steam coming up from the bowl as I dug in on a frosty day. As I was preparing this dish for my blog post, even more memories came flooding back as I stood in the kitchen breaking beans, a chore I truly disliked then. This time though it was an opportunity to reconnect with my mom and childhood.
My goal with this recipe is to take the mushy potatoes and green beans and give them a little texture. It’s to take the bland boiled sausage and give it some flavor.
Yield: 4-6 servings
What to expect: Green beans that are bright, and crisp to the bite. Potatoes that are firm yet yielding to a fork, and flavorful. Sausage with a nice smoky flavor, that you will also be able to taste the spices.
What you’ll need:
1 lb raw Italian sausage
1 lb small new potatoes
3lbs fresh green beans picked through and broken. I like leaving them a little long to give the dish a touch of elegance.
¼ cup of vegetable oil. (I tried olive oil but the flavor just didn’t play well with this dish)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups water
How we did it:
Begin by cutting the potatoes in half.
Add the ¼ of oil, 1 Tbls salt, and 1 Tbls black pepper to a bowl and mix well.
Add potatoes to the bowl and toss until well coated, set aside.
Set grill up for indirect grilling, add your choice of wood chunk to the coals.
Place sausage in the void between the coals.
Cook until you hear the internal juices sizzling. About 20 minutes.
Add fresh coals if necessary.
Place potatoes cut side down in the void between the coals.
While the potatoes cook let the sausage rest.
Cook until yeilding to a gentle squeeze and the skin is crisp and brown. (Basically we’re going for a roasted potato here.) About 30-45 minutes.
Slice the sausage into ¼ inch medallions.
Heavily season 4 cups of water with salt and pepper.
Bring the water to a boil.
Add the green beans only, and cook about 5-7 minutes. Just until the beans begin to start getting tender. Add the sausgae and cook another minute or so until the beans are firm but tender aka. al-dente.
Strain the water off the green beans and sausage.
Gently mix the green beans, the sausage, and potatoes in a serving bowl and enjoy.
Personally I like a little pickled red onion on mine, but that’s what I grew up with.
Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.