Complicate Your Big Sausages

I love a good, thick sausage, especially fried or grilled so that it browns well. It looks like Barefoot Contessa is also a fan of hers, as her Hasselbacked Kielbasa recipe is designed to maximize that special flavor on this particular type of sausage.

For those unfamiliar with hasselbacking, which sounds a lot more risky than it actually is, it’s simply the process of slicing food to make a series of cuts that almost hit the bottom but stop just a tiny bit. This keeps the food intact, creating more surface area for browning, and also gives sauces and glazes room to build up and stick. It’s all about improving the flavor, baby, and hasselback allows you to double down on just a little more than smart knife work in that regard.

Carbohydrates like potatoes and pumpkins are usually cooked this way (as it helps them cook faster) and I’ve seen a few hassel tomatoes on my bottom, but this little knife maneuver can do wonders for a big sausage. As I mentioned earlier, Ina has a complete delicious recipe for hasselback fried sausage on their site, but any large smoked sausage with a similar texture will do.

Simply slice the sausage, making cuts 2/3 the length and about 1/4 inch apart, being careful not to cut all the way through. (You can use chopsticks as a defense, as we do here for these tiny potatoes.) Bake the sausage in the oven at 425°F for about half an hour, brushing with any frosting (such as Ina’s honey mustard) every 10 minutes, until the sausage will brown and the edges will become crispy. Serve with baked potatoes and caprese salad for the ultimate treat.

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