To be completely honest with you, I once ate this the morning after a long night of drinking. There weren’t any black grapes in that breakfast hair of the dog, but the concept was fairly similar. Your favourite cocktail sausages, last night’s wine, some tomatoes, garlic and thyme, with lots of bread for dipping into the pan sauce later. It’s almost too easy to put into a recipe, but it’s often the simplest things that we take for granted and will evidently mess up.
Here I’ve used black grapes that you’ll find in the market nowadays, I’ve cooked some and finished with some freshly chopped slices. Once the onions brown, in go the sausages—I’ve used spicy cocktail sausages because I love those and then the tomatoes. Splash in the wine, add the grapes and cook everything down ill glossy, syrupy and lush. Make this part of a Valentine’s breakfast spread and you’ll charm the pants off your partner, that is if they’re not vegetarian.
Spicy Sausages, Black Grapes and Wine
Yield 2 hearty portions
The balsamic vinegar at the very end rounds up all the delicious pan juices, making them sharp and bright, which is exactly what you want from a breakfast hangover cure like this one.
Madras Onions 250g, peeled and halved
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Garlic 3 cloves, roughly chopped
Spicy cocktail sausages 500g
Cherry tomatoes 200g
Red wine 150ml
Thyme 2 sprigs, leaves picked
Black grapes 200g, pulled from their stems and halved, a few chopped thinly for the top
Balsamic vinegar 3 tsp, or to taste
Heat a skillet or a fairly large frying pan over moderate heat. When hot, add the olive oil, followed by the onions.
Continue to cook the onions till they are brown, stirring as often as you can so they don’t brown unevenly. Add the garlic to the browned onions and stir for 2 minutes at least to activate the garlic.
Turn the heat down to low and add the sausages, tossing everything together. Add the cherry tomatoes and squish a few with the back of your wooden spoon to get some of their juices into the pan. Cook this till the tomatoes start to look wrinkly and soft, then splash in the wine, the thyme and let everything bubble for about 7-8 minutes. Add the halved grapes and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has reduced. Splash in 2 tsp of the balsamic vinegar, then taste for salt and add the pepper. Adjust with more balsamic vinegar as necessary. Add more sliced black grapes to the top and serve this with bread for dipping.
Adapted from a recipe by Nigel Slater