From Plant to Plate……
It has been suggested that the Roman invasion of England was made easier by the fact that the natives were a nation of cider drinkers. Whether it is true or not that the Romans were met by inebriated and incapacitated Brits is a matter for argument.
What isn’t in dispute is that cider has been the preferred drink of many for hundreds of years. In the UK, it is often known as scrumpy and the practise of stealing apples from orchards is known as scrumping! In America it became popular in the wake of Johnny Appleseed.
While in Australia, cider has become increasingly popular with many varieties to choose from. Our ciders of choice are brewed locally by the Flying Brick Cider Co. Whether you choose the pure, clean and fresh taste of the Original (apple) cider, or the light, crisp and delicate flavours of the Pear cider, your tastebuds will thank you. Flying Brick ciders are made from 100% fresh fruit and are free from added sugars, colours and concentrates.
It is the perfect drink year round. Ice cold from the fridge in the summer or warmed with added spices for the winter. It is also excellent when cooking; traditionally it has been paired with pork, but there are many other uses for this brew. By swapping wine for cider, you can elevate even the simplest of dishes to restaurant quality meals.
French Onion soup can effortlessly become Aussie Onion soup by adding Flying Brick Apple Cider instead of white wine. Moules marinière become delicious Moules a la Portarlington when steamed in cider and served with plenty of cream and crusty bread to mop up the juices.
One of our favourite dishes at Ripple Effect Gifts is Saucisses au Cidre – also known as Snags in Cider!
500g sausages (pork or beef)
375ml Flying Brick pear or apple cider
1 medium cooking apple – unpeeled, cored and sliced into thick rings
200g smoked bacon
225g shallots or onions – sliced
A heaped tablespoon of flour
1 clove of garlic – crushed
1 bay leaf
A teaspoon of fresh thyme of half a teaspoon of dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying
Pre-heat the over to 180c
First place the casserole over a medium heat, add a little oil and when it’s hot, brown the sausages all round – it’s important to get them well browned.
Then, using a draining spoon, remove them to a plate whilst you brown the bacon and shallots lightly.
When that’s done, sprinkle in the flour to soak up the juices, then gradually stir in the cider. Now pop the sausages back in along with the garlic, bay leaf, fresh thyme and sprigs. Add some freshly milled black pepper (no salt needed).
Now put a lid on as soon as it begins to simmer, then transfer it to the oven for 30 minutes. After that remove the lid and let it continue to cook for a further 20–30 minutes.
Towards the end of the time, fry the apple rings in butter till golden and soft, and garnish the casserole with them. Serve with mashed potatoes, green vegetables and a cold glass of cider!