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RBR Tailgating: Sausage and Peppers

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It occurs to me that the last time we had LSU on our schedule twice in the same season things worked out quite nicely.

When Orgeron gathered his team around him after last here’s game he made the statement “This is our house from now on!” referring to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

It was disrespectful to say that on our field, but I’m not one to go off to the fainting couch over stuff like that. Say whatever you want wherever you want as long as you accept that maybe, just maybe, there will be consequences. Ed’s a big boy. He knows. I bet he wishes the recording of his post game locker room comments didn’t get out, but they did.

Saban downplayed the idea that this is a “revenge game” by saying that we have very few revenge games and it might be one in the minds of some of the players. So this is a revenge game.

Add to the mix that the Tigas were perceived by many in our fan base to weasel out of our earlier scheduled programming, that the bulk of those that made last year’s version of LSU so good have moved on to greener fields in the NFL, and that star receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. has opted to exercise the better part of valor and they have a pretty glum situation brewing at their old house. But Ed’s a big boy. He knows.

LSU fans, at least the ones I know, resigned themselves to a hangover year after Mike Leach came to town (it should be noted that the pirate captain did not claim Death Valley as his team’s) but I believe it’s beginning to dawn on them that this hangover may last longer than just this season. That fan base is proud of their drunken night game atmosphere. That crowd gets loud, boisterous, and has seemingly discovered a method to shed inhibitions. A vengeance fueled blowout in front of that lot goes a long way towards making a previously beloved coach a candidate to be Chiznik West. At least Coach O has that easy to understand broadcast ready voice to fall back on like Gene did. He knows.

Of course LSU could win… but we all know.

While you’re watching, tuck into some of these sausages. They are a favorite around my house and, because his favorite literary witch/assassin eats something very similar in the books, the only spicy thing my oldest will deign to eat. It’s a start.

Sausage and Peppers

- 5 spicy Italian sausages

- 1 red bell pepper

- 2 yellow onions

- French or Italian bread - hoagie rolls will do just fine

- 5 or so cloves of garlic

- 6 oz. plain yogurt

- harrisa

- grainy brown mustard

- salt

Cook the sausages ahead of time. It’s up to you whether to grill, bake, or pan cook them.

Slice the onions in half, remove the paper and slice into fairly thin half moon pieces. In a 12” skillet caramelize the onions in olive oil over medium high heat. The trick here is to brown the onions but not too much. Resist the urge to stir constantly and just jump in when you are afraid you’ve messed everything up. If you do in fact mess things up, a splash of water or white wine reins in the runaway process and sets you back on track. Let cook like this for 20 to 30 minutes. That seems like a long time, but it works. When done, remove from heat, taste, adjust for salt, and set aside.

Cut the red pepper in half and deseed. Cut into ½” slices.

Meanwhile, in a 400˚ oven, heat the bread until the non crust part is rough. If you are using French or Italian loaves cut them first into sandwich sized pieces and then in half, the way you’ve learned to do in order to facilitate the making of a sandwich. If you are using the hoagie rolls first cut them in half.

When the non crust is rough, pull the bread from the oven and using two peeled and halved cloves of garlic rub them down. The bread will pick up a lot more garlic sharpness than you might expect so temper this depending on your tastes.

I set out three sauces for this. Mustard is the natural ally of sausage despite my hatred of the stuff. Harissa is a kick of heat with all manner of other flavors involved (if you want to make your own harissa go here but there are some really good premade versions out there.) The final sauce yogurt mixed with three cloves of minced garlic and salt as needed. I ended mixing a harissa and garlicky yogurt together and won.

Right before you are ready to eat, sautee the peppers on medium heat until they begin to dull in color - 5 minutes and then add the onion and sausage just to heat everything up again.

Serve as a sandwich or as sausages smothered in onion and pepper with garlic bread on the side.

I wasn’t kidding when I said LSU might win. We have to accept that as a possibility. Stingley is real. And then there’s…

I hope we hang 60 on ‘em and still get Young in by the beginning of the fourth. Ed’s a big boy. He can take it.

Enjoy, no injuries, and Roll Tide.