She’s not a looker, but boy is she tasty. This casserole is my absolute favorite fall/winter dish. I’ve been making it for years, and it holds up so well. I love casseroles but really don’t like using canned cream-of-something soup, nor do I always want something super heavy or cheesy. This is a wonderful, healthful, and nutritious dish, and you can even make it with turkey or chicken sausage if you want to lighten it up a bit. The sweet flavor of the apricot nectar goes perfectly with the sausage. You’ll want to make this again and again!
Sweet Potato, Leek, and Sausage Gratin
· 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
· 1 cup chicken broth
· 1 cup white wine
· 1 cup apricot nectar
· 3 tablespoons butter
· 2 large leeks, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
· 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
· 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
· ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook sausage in a large skillet until brown and cooked through, breaking up larger pieces with back of spoon, 7-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from skillet. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and add leeks. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove leeks to separate bowl.
2. While sausage and leeks are cooking, add broth, wine, apricot nectar, and 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer until liquid is thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
3. Arrange half the sliced potatoes in a 9x13x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with half the thyme. Sprinkle with half the cheese (1/4 cup). Top with all the sausage and half the leeks. Cover with remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with remaining thyme. Cover with the rest of the leeks and the remaining cheese.
4. Pour broth over. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until potatoes are tender and liquid thickens, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.
adapted from Bon Appetit