Sausage and peppers (with rice) is one of our fallback dinners. We make it when we want a dinner that seems extra easy and casual even to us — and that’s saying something, because we are by no means fancy. When it comes to dinner, we’re pretty lazy, as a rule.
But we do like to eat well.
So this is delicious, but it can be put together in the time it takes the rice to steam. And we make plenty so we can eat it again as leftovers. There’s a bit of chopping-up to be done, but that’s pretty much it. And since everything but the rice gets made in one pot, you get a whole meal done and you only have to wash one or two cutting boards, knives, two pots and a spoon.
(to serve four):
- One package of hot Italian turkey sausage, cut into chunks
- Three medium-large green bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
- Two medium white (or five small yellow) onions, sliced into wedges
- Five cloves garlic, diced
- One jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (optional, but it adds extra hot!)
- One can beef consomme, sans gelatin
- Two tablespoons cornstarch
- Spices (I recommend parsley, black pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch each of oregano, thyme, bacon salt and celery seed)
- Soy sauce
- Olive oil
- Steamed white rice to serve
- Get everything chopped ahead of time. It is always John’s job to cut up the sausage, so here are his top tips: (1) Always use a sharp, smooth knife, never a serrated one. (2) It’s a little easier to chop the meat up if it’s frozen. You need a heavier knife, but the casing cuts more cleanly when it’s cold. Yeah, your hands get cold, but they get cold from the refrigerated meat too, so it’s worth it. (And it’s okay to cook the meat from frozen, as long as you’re careful to make sure it cooks all the way through.)
- In a wide pan with high sides, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat and put the sausage in. You can season the sausage either right before or right after it goes into the pan, and you can either use the spices listed, or sub whatever you like. I tried it with a paprika-based pork rub and it was lovely. So season your sausage how you like it sausaged. Er, seasoned. Man, that was a weird typo.
- Toss the sausages occasionally in the pan until they’re nicely browned.
- Add all the vegetables at once! Bell peppers, onions, garlic, and optional jalapeno. Toss them around in the pan so they get a little heat and start to seem a tiny bit softer.
- Add the canned consomme and a few splashes of soy sauce. (It’s better than salt.)
- Season to taste.
- Put the cornstarch into the empty consomme can and cover it with enough water to dissolve it. Stir it to make sure it’s dissolved, then spoon some of the hot liquid from the pan into the can, to warm up the cornstarch mixture.
- Pour the cornstarch mixture into the can. It’ll be white and milky at first, but as soon as you stir it, it’ll all go back to its regular color. (And it’ll stay soupy, in case that’s unclear from the photos.)
- Allow the soup to simmer until it’s all good and hot, but stop it before the vegetables get mushy.
- Break open a piece of sausage to make sure it’s cooked through. If it is, dinner! Place a spoonful of rice into a bowl and spoon some sausage and peppers over it. It’s soupy, spicy and hearty. Oh, and it makes a wonderful take-along lunch the next day. Everyone within 30 feet of the break room microwave will be jealous.