I once watched (in amusement), as a smitten man, decidedly unwell after a long festive party, drove to the next suburb at 7am to buy pork sausages for a particularly fetching friend, who was much in need of a hearty breakfast at the time. She didn’t even ask him to – she just made a casual observation about how much she would enjoy some with her breakfast. Now, as we know, women never actually make casual observations, but nonetheless, he jumped at the chance to satisfy her breakfast desires. Some say it with flowers, others with pork sausages. For me, the very English components of an English breakfast have never made much impact. Blood pudding? Forget it. Pork sausages? Crispy bacon instead, please. And as the only sausage on a proper South African braai grill is boerewors, you can see how pork sausages and I missed each other for many years. While I’m still a ‘crispy bacon in the morning’ person, these skewers are a firm favourite – they have the built-in apple that should always go with pork, and the crunch of the ciabatta is a perfect contrast to the squishy apple and juicy sausage.
Pork, Apple & Ciabatta Skewers
500g good quality pork sausages
400g tin of pie apple slices
2 ciabatta rolls/small paninis
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp honey
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
* makes 6-8 skewers
Brown the pork sausages in a saucepan, and then add water to the pan to cover the sausages. Simmer gently for 8min, turning halfway. Pork sausages have the tendency to burn before they have cooked through, so adding the water prevents that. Drain the sausages, and cut into cubes – 4 or 5 pieces per sausage. Cut cubes of ciabatta that are slightly smaller than the sausage cubes. Cut each apple slice in half – that should make them roughly the same size as the bread. Thread alternating ‘pork, apple, ciabatta’ onto the skewers (aim to get one whole sausage per skewer, it makes it easier to estimate how many each person will eat) and drizzle with half of the olive oil and honey, and chopped rosemary. Cook the skewers under a preheated grill for about 2-3 minutes, then turn over and repeat on the other side.Watch them closely though – don’t go away and forget about them, or the ciabatta will burn. Trust me. When they are lightly browned, remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining olive oil and honey. Serve with salad, mashed potato or roasted vegetables.
[Note: you can also do these on the braai. If nobody complains.]