Weekly Winner: Cobbler – It’s not just for dessert anymore

2015/01/img_1530-0.jpg I am not really a dessert person. I prefer to use vital stomach space for savory food. Not to say I’d turn down a piece of chocolate or a bowl of good ice cream, but on the whole I am all about the main course.

At the same time, I’ve always been drawn to any kind of pot pie, dumpling or biscuit dish — if it has some kind of bready, crumbly, pastry-type topping, I’m generally a fan — as long as what’s underneath is savory.

So imagine my delight when I found this recipe for Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Cobbler in Cuisine at Home Magazine. Now this is a cobbler that speaks my language!  Forget some wimpy berries or fussy stone fruit — we’re talking pork!!

I made it for our Sunday Supper and it was a total hit. It’s basically a one-pot wonder and makes an incredible homey, cosy meal that’s even company-worthy.

The dish is a great combination of sausage, beans, butternut squash and broccoli rabe all tucked up under a wonderful buttermilk-parmesan biscuit. The recipe calls it “dumplings”, but it is actually more of a biscuit which is where I’m sure they got the whole “cobbler” theme. Whatever you call it, it will be happening here for dinner …. frequently.

Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Cobbler
Serves 6

For the filling:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb link Italian sausage
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 cup diced red bell peppers
2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt , black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 lb), trimmed and chopped

For the dumplings (aka biscuits):
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup each yellow cornmeal and grated parmesan
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each baking soda and table salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400F with rack in center position.

For the filling – heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, covered, 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. When cool, slice sausage on the bias into 1 inch pieces. Add onions, squash, and bell peppers to skillet; cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; cook 1 minute.

Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up any brown bits, and reduce until nearly evaporated. Stir in beans, Italian seasoning, and sausage; season with salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Whisk together broth and cornstarch and add to skillet; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, 5 minutes. Sir in broccoli rabe.

For the dumplings, combine flour, cornmeal, parmesan, sage, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, butter and egg; stir into the flour mixture just until combined. Spoon dumplings over filling in the skillet and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of dumplings comes out clean, 30 minutes. Remove cobbler from oven; let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.


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