Grilled & Smoked Apples Stuffed with Sausage & Sage! I stumbled across this recipe towards the back of Steven Raichlen’s BBQ USA. Although I love grilled apples, I was little curious, if not dubious, as to how they would taste stuffed full of sausage instead of butter and raisins. Thankfully my curiosity paid off, they were great. According to Raichlen, this dish is a New England tradition. I now hope to make it a tradition at home.
After an hour on the grill, the apples really take on an interesting medley of taste. You get a the savory smoky taste of sausage, followed by the sweetness of the maple syrup, surrounded by the tart hint of apple. To me, it was really neat exploring those flavors. It was one of those meals where I concentrated on each bite trying to determine exactly what I was eating, even though I already knew. It was that much of an adventure.
Fortunately the apples are easy to make, so you can experiment with this new treat in your own backyard. I am curious as to what you think.
Baked Apple Stuffed with Sausage and Sage
Adapted from Steven Raichlen’s BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America
3 T butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 pound of sausage
4 fresh sage leaves, minced (right from the garden!)
salt & pepper
4 T maple syrup
6 large apples
1. Add 1 T butter to a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and sage. Increase the heat to high, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Transfer the stuffing to a strainer set over a bowl to drain off the excess fat (of course in my opinion, is there really such a thing as “excess” fat?!), reserving the fat for basting (now we’re talking!). Let the stuffing cool to room temperature.
3. Using a melon baller, corer, knife, or perhaps a very strong finger, remove the core from each apple creating a large cavity (the larger the better). Just be sure not to cut all of the way through the apple. We want a container, not a sieve.
4. Spoon the stuffing into the apples. Next, top of the apples with equal amounts of maple syrup. Then, top the apple with the remaining butter.
5. Brush the outside of the apples with the excess fat you collected .
6. Soak wood chips (I used maple) in water for approximately 30-45 minutes. Set up your charcoal grill for indirect medium grilling (A gas grill can be used instead too).
7. Once your grill is at temperature, drop your soaked wood chips on the coals and close the lid. When smoke appears, place your apples on the grill. Remember, you are grilling indirect so the apples should not be over the coals.
8. Grill the apples until soft, approximately one hour.
If you are looking for something different, I can guarantee these apples will do the job. They can make a great meal by themselves, or serve as a great side. For me, the apples were a side. Why? My main course was this:
Along with this: