Saturday, November 21, 2015

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Cloves and Surry Sausage

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Cloves and Surry Sausage
We're in the grips of the Thanksgiving Blues at the restaurant: business dies for the two weeks before and after Thanksgiving. It's really an ugly time and a reminder that January, February, and March are just about on us. Rather than stick around the restaurant on a barren Friday night and be constantly reminded that the sucking noise I am hearing is really the sound of my bank account on auto-empty, I decided to come home and try to forget about business for the night with Annie.

Last week, I had picked up a few yellow potatoes in anticipation of roasting them, but I never got around to it. I brought home three small Surry sausages, one for each of us, and cubed them along with the potatoes. I tossed these with olive oil, fresh rosemary from the garden, salt, pepper, and lots of whole peeled garlic cloves (about a half a pound) and then this mix went onto a sheet tray in a very hot oven with the convection fan on for about 25 minutes, turned once about 15 minutes in.

Roasted potatoes with rosemary and whole garlic cloves is one of my all-time favorite dishes. I've never roasted potatoes with Surry sausage before, but it is a huge winner. This dish is so, so delicious. I cannot forget this one.

A word about Surry sausage. These are small maybe two-ounce smoked pork sausages made by S. Wallace Edwards and Sons of Surry, VA. They have a firm texture and taste of pork, sage, and black pepper and have been made the same way as long as I can remember and I can remember more than 50 years. Sam Edwards once told me that they used to take the leftover fresh sausage that didn't sell, stuff it into casings, and smoke it to preserve it. Now, the demand is so great that they purpose make the smoked sausage; no longer is it a by product of their fresh sausage business. When you go to order them, look for "hickory-smoked sausage links." Now only they call them this: everyone else in the state calls them Surry sausage. They make different kinds of sausage, but these little smoked guys are what you want. They are one of the very best sausages in the world.

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