Sausages & Apples in Hard-Cider Sauce

In November, no day is complete without eating a fresh-from-the-tree apple or two. Au natural is the simplest, of course, but sliced and enjoyed with an accompaniment of sharp Cheddar or smoked fish, apples make a fine prelude to a meal – as apple pies, apple crisps, and apple crumbles make a satisfying conclusion. But I enjoy incorporating them into the main event in easy sauces – an ideal tart & sweet robe for pork and chicken dishes.

Left Foot Charley's "Cinnamon Girl" Hard-Cider

Left Foot Charley’s “Cinnamon Girl” Hard-Cider

This recipe gilds the lily by incorporating hard apple cider into the sauce, which is like a cider but fermented into alcohol, and as all-American as Mom’s Apple Pie (as long as you’re of age). I purchased my “Cinnamon Girl” cider hot off the press from Left Foot Charley in Traverse City, Michigan.

According to their website, their winery uses heirloom varieties, selecting apples that have high acid and tannic skins to produce crisp and refreshing styles of cider.  The alcohol ranges from 5.5%-7% depending on the vintage, variety and style, which change frequently as all ciders are produced in small batches and only served on draught at the winery.

If November had a flavor, it might taste something like this. For more savory main course recipes (pork loin, pancakes, turkey cutlets, chicken, brats, salads, soups, etc.) that incorporate apples, click here.

Recipe: Sausages & Apples in Hard-Cider Sauce


  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 3-4 medium sized apples, suitable for cooking
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider, hard apple cider preferred
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
  • 4-6 (your favorite) uncooked pork or chicken sausages*
  • Scant teaspoon finely chopped shallot, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme, plus thyme sprigs for garnish,
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional


  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes until they can easily be pricked with a fork, about 45-55 minutes.
  2. Wash and core apples. Slice into thin, 1/8-inch wedges, to yield about 6 cups apple slices. In a small bowl, mix cider and cornstarch
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over until medium-high heat. Working in batches, if necessary, add sausage and sear 4 to 5 minutes* on each side, or until juices run clear when thickest part is pierced with tip of knife. Transfer sausage to plate.
  4. In same skillet, reduce heat to medium, add an additional tablespoon oil and cook apple wedges and shallot 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, or until apples are just limp.
  5. Increase heat to high and add cider-cornstarch mixture to pan, stirring continuously, until mixture comes to a slow boil. Reduce heat and cook until apples are tender and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally. Return sausages with any accumulated juices, thyme and butter, if using, to skillet; heat through.
  6. Remove skin from sweet potato and mash flesh. Arrange sausage, apples, sauce over potatoes and serve, garnished with a thyme sprig, if desired.

*Reduce cooking time if sausages are pre-cooked

Number of servings (yield): 4-6

Time to bake sweet potatoes: apx. 45-55 minutes, depending on size

Active Time: 20 minutes

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