Grilled Sausage and Brussels Sprout Hash/Brickstone Galaxy Down Under/Skunk “Doubleblind”
In our years of doing this, with the exception of possibly quinoa, no food has generated as much vitriol as the Brussels sprout. We had no idea these little cabbage-y looking things were despised by so many of you. We get it, the bland boiled variety can taste very much like, well, a burp frankly. However, when sliced thin and sautéed with bacon, onion and a sweet mustard sauce, these little orbs transform into something phenomenal. Add to that some tasty wine-poached then grilled Italian sausage rings, and you’ve got an amazing one dish meal. For the beer, we went local again with Bourbonnais’ Brickstone Brewing’s Galaxy Down Under IPA. On the stereo we were spinning yet another 2017 early album of the year candidate. Straight out of Oakland, CA with Skunk’s incredible mix of California sleaze and southern fried boogie on “Doubleblind”.
Grilled Sausage and Brussels Sprout Hash – Since we’re using a couple of different cooking methods with the sausage here, let’s start there. In a large pot bring a bottle of wine and a couple of tablespoons of our Bootlicker Sicilian Rub to a simmer. Alternatively, you could use a store bought Italian seasoning.
Now we can add the Italian sausage. We’re using turkey Italian sausage today, but traditional Italian sausage works great too. Drop the links into the seasoned simmering wine.
As the sausage is poaching, we can start on the Brussels sprout hash. We start with 3 links of bacon that we dice up and toss in a large sauté pan. Once the bacon starts to brown, we add in one thinly slice red onion and saute until the onion is soft and the bacon is starting to get crispy.
Now we can add the Brussels sprouts, about a pound of them, trimmed and sliced thin to be exact. We give them a generous shake of our (Not So) Gentle Butcher’s or alternatively you could use a combo of garlic, salt and pepper and then we give the whole thing a good stir.
We now turn our attention back to the sausages which by this time have plumped up nicely and have mostly cooked through. We’re going to finish them on a charcoal grill for optimal flavor. Just a couple minutes per side are all they’ll need.
With sausages in hand, we make the trek back to the kitchen to finish off the hash. First the sprouts: we need to make a quick dressing by mixing 3 parts dijon to 1 part honey with a splash of rice wine vinegar to thin it out. Whisk well and pour over the Brussels sprout mixture.
Brickstone Galaxy Down Under – The selection of Brickstone’s beer has increased in this area so we were pumped to try this single hopped Galaxy Down Under IPA using the Australian Galaxy hop exclusively. The beer pours a clear orange and bubbly but with a faint head. The nose is straight up apricot, you can smell this one coming a mile away once the can is opened. The flavor is like a liquid Sweet Tart, juicy on the front end and mouth puckering in the finish. With its light mouthfeel and addictive flavor, it goes down super smooth and is a perfect summery IPA. It also worked extremely well with the lighter flavors in the hash, complimenting them perfectly.
Skunk “Doubleblind” – Hailing from Oakland, CA, Skunk has blown our mind (and ears) on their latest release “Doubleblind”. An album so raw, so groove-laden and so infectious it’s been in constant rotation at the house and in the car since its release and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. As we’ve said so often around here, we love opening tracks that smack you in the mouth (and ears) and demand you take notice of not only that song but also what is to follow. “Forest Nymph” is a perfect example of such song. Like a combination of the sleazy southern rock of Syrup mixed with the southern stoner rock of Alabama Thunderpussy, the song rocks and grooves like there’s no tomorrow and is delivered with a huge swagger that demands the listener to take notice and crank this tune up. The title track possesses a lot of Sabbath characteristics thanks to the Ozzy-like vocals that soar above the down-tuned sludge of the CoC riffage and groove. Things take a turn toward 70s rock/funk on the Black Oak Arkansas meets Grand Funk meets Ram Jam scorcher “Mountain Child”. It’s a great summer time tune that is custom made for the backyard bbq. A Zeppelin-esque riff opens “Harvest Queen” bringing on comparisons with fellow Californians Slow Season in its loose, rocking groove. “Wizard Bong” as the name might suggest delves deep into the slow and sludgy doom territory with an RPM of just around 1 that rachets to maybe 3 as the song progresses. It’s a heavy tune made a little more psychedelic by the liberal wah pedal use. Lyrically, the song is by far the trippiest on the album with atmospheric vocals replacing the huge arena-ready rock vocals that have dominated the album to this point. “Black Hash” starts off much like the Red Rider classic “Lunatic Fringe” before the groove takes over. Riddle. What type of weed do you put in your Wizard Bong? According to track seven, that would be “Devil Weed”, a perfectly psychdelic rocker that could have easily have been recorded in the late 60s or early 70s. The album’s closing track is “Waiting’ Round On You” and its a groove monster along the same lines as Cactus or Josefus. The song puts a huge, groovy, heavy exclamation point on an album that will certainly be near the top of the album of the year lists in a few months.