Cumberland sausage hot dogs with beery onions
- March 2014
- 500g Cumberland sausage ring, twisted and cut into 4
- Vegetable oil for rubbing
- 1 fresh large French baguette
For the roasted garlic butter:
- 1 garlic bulb with fat cloves
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- 175g soft, unsalted butter
For the beery onions:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 750g (about 3 large) onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 150ml rich dark ale or stout
- Knob of butter (about 15g)
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 tsp red wine vinegar
- Handful watercress
- For the roasted garlic butter, heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Remove the outer papery layer of skin from the garlic bulb to reveal the cloves, then cut a 1cm thick slice off the top to expose a bit of each clove. Put the garlic bulb in the middle of a large square of foil, then drizzle with the 1 tsp oil and sprinkle with a little of the salt. Pull the foil up to form a parcel, then transfer to a baking tray and roast for 1 hour or until the garlic feels soft. Remove from the oven then, when cool enough to handle, unwrap and squeeze out the garlic from each clove into a small bowl. Add the soft butter and the remaining sea salt and mix together well.
- Meanwhile, make the beery onions. Heat the 3 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat (use a pan that conducts heat really well). Add the onions and cook, stirring now and then, for 30 minutes or until they’re very soft and richly browned. Add the ale and simmer until well reduced. Add the butter, sugar and vinegar and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until thick and sticky – watch the onions carefully as they burn very easily. Season to taste and keep warm, or set aside to reheat later (see tip).
- Rub a griddle pan with a little oil and cook the sausages (alternatively, add the oil to a frying pan or cook the sausages under the grill) for 8-10 minutes, turning now and then as they colour, until nicely browned and cooked through. Keep hot.
- Cut the ends off the baguette, then slice it across evenly into 4 pieces. Slit open each piece along one side and open them out. Warm for a minute or two in the oven or under the grill. Spread the cut faces of the bread with some of the roasted garlic butter, then add a sausage and spoon in some of the beery onions (see tip). Add some watercress, then serve with mustard on the side, if you like.
This recipe makes plenty of roasted garlic butter – how much you use is up to you. Keep any leftovers, rolled up in baking paper, in the freezer for up to 3 months, then slice off as needed. It’s fantastic melted over steak or steamed veg, or mixed into mashed potato.
Make the garlic butter and beery onions up to 4 days in advance, then chill, covered (the onions will mellow). Bring the butter to room temperature and gently heat the onions to serve.
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