Sausages in a Pottage

Saulcisses en potage.

Prennez les saulsisses, & les fricassez en beurre, puis prennez quartre ou cinq pommes pellées & couppées par petits quartiers, & quartre ou cinq oignons couppez par rondes tranches, & les fricassez en beurre, & les mettez tout dedans vn pot auec les saulsisses, & mettez dedans noix muscade, canelle, auec vin blanc ou rouge, du succre, & le faictes ainsi esteuuer. 

Sausages in pottage.

Take the sausages, & fry them in butter, then take four or five apples peeled and cut into little pieces, & four or five onions cut into round slices, & fry them in butter, & put them all into a pot with the sausages, & put in nutmeg nut, cinnamon, with white or red wine, some sugar, & have it stew thus. 

Sausages in Pottage  - Redaction

2lbs of sausages1 
four medium apples2
4-5 medium onions
butter for frying3 
1 teaspoon nutmeg4 
1 teaspoon cinnamon5 
2 cups semi-dry white wine6
sugar to taste7 

Brown the sausages in a little butter.  They need not be fully cooked through because you will be stewing them.  Remove them to a heavy, high-sided stewing pot.  Peel and core the apples, cut them into small chunks and brown them in the same pan you just browned the sausages in.  When they have browned, remove them to the stew pot.  Cut the onions into wide rounds about ¼” thick.  Brown them in the apple/sausage pan until they are well browned, remove to the stew pot.  Let the browning pan cool a little and take about ½ cup of the wine and reconstitute the pan drippings.  Try to get off as much as you can because it will add flavor to the pottage, then add it to the stew pot. Add the remainder of the wine, spices and sugar.  Let the pottage cook covered over a low heat for an hour.  Check it at that time, you might want to let it stew a little longer.  If so make sure that it has enough liquid.  You don’t want it to have all the liquid cook away.  

1. Casteau doesn’t specify what sort of sausages to use nor does he give a recipe for them as part of this recipe, so it is up to the cook.  I have had good luck using ordinary sweet Italian sausages from the grocery store.  Alternatively you could make your own.  For my personal tastes I would stay away from an overly garlicy sausage for this and opt for an herbed sausage instead.  
2.  Be sure than the apples you use are good for baking/stewing.  You don’t want an apple that will cook down to nothing in short order.  They can be tart as well because you will be adding some sugar.
3. Oil can certainly be substituted for the butter if there are concerns about dietary restrictions, however the butter adds a delightful richness that even olive oil can’t match.
4. Casteau uses the terms "nutmeg," "nutmeg nut," "nutmeg flower," and "nutmeg leaf" in various places in his text.  Here he says “nutmeg nut” but doesn’t specify if it should be ground, whole, or what. I would put in ground, because I really don't think a whole nutmeg makes sense, it's valuable, and I think a lot of the spice would be wasted using it that way.
5. Ditto for cinnamon.  I think it should be ground.
6. Personal preference here, I think it works very well with a semi-dry white wine.  One could use a spicy, robust red like a Rhone but I think it would be a bit overpowering to the other ingredients.
7. I have not specified an amount for the sugar.  You will have to take into account your own personal tastes and the relative sweetness of the other ingredients (apples, onions, wine).  I think it should be a little bit sweet but not cloyingly so.  White sugar could be used but raw sugar might be a good substitution.
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