TRY, TRY AND THEN TRY AGAIN
When I first started exploring the wonderful world of spices, I was at first deterred by the variety that took on aniseed flavour. But I decided to give them a go and I am pleasantly surprised that I actually like them, in small doses. Let’s not get excited here, I haven’t converted but I do respect their place in the culinary world. Aniseed is actually classified as a sweet spice, alongside cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and allspice.
It is used both in sweet and savoury cooking and is super versatile. If you don’t have any you can simply substitute it with fennel or star anise. I pulled this recipe out of my grandmother’s handwritten recipe book and I made it on the weekend. It was so yummy I thought I would share.
ROASTED SAUSAGES WITH ANISEED AND PEARS Serves 6 INGREDIENTS
12 pork sausages, pricked with a fork 2 Tbs butter 1 Tbs brown sugar 3 pears, peeled, halved, and cored 3 granny smith apples, peeled, quartered and cored Fresh juice from 3 oranges 1 cup sweet wine, such as riesling 1 tsp grated orange zest 2 slices fresh ginger 2 whole cloves 1 cinnamon stick ½ tsp whole aniseed, crushed slightly
Heat the oven to 190C or 180C fan-forced. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cook until it is melted. Add the pears and apples, cut with the side down in a single layer and cook for about five to seven minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and place the pears and apples in a large baking dish in a single layer. Season with salt. Add the orange juice, sweet wine, orange zest, ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick and aniseed to the frying pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Discard the ginger pieces, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves. Place the sausages on top of the apples and pears in the baking dish. Pour the orange juice and wine mixture over the whole lot and cover loosely with foil and bake until the sausages are cooked and the fruit is tender but still hold their shape — usually this takes about 35 minutes. To serve, cut each sausage in half on the diagonal. Serve with lashings of mashed potato and other veggies of your choice.
WORDS: VICKI TAYLOR