I love a good, thick sausage, particularly one that has been roasted or grilled to encourage lots of delicious browning. It seems that the Barefoot Contessa is also a fan, as her Hasselbacked Kielbasa recipe is designed to maximize that particular kind of flavor on that particular kind of sausage.
For those not familiar with hasselbacking, which sounds much more risque than it is, it’s simply the process of slicing into a food to make a series of cuts that almost reach the bottom, but stop just short. Doing so keeps the food whole while creating more surface area for browning, while also giving sauces and glazes a place to pool in and cling to. It’s all about increasing flavor, baby, and hasselbacking lets you double up in this regard with little more than some clever knife work.
Carbs like potatoes and squashes are commonly prepared this way (as it helps them cook faster), and I’ve seen a few hasselbacked tomatoes in my day, but this little knife maneuver can work wonders on a big ol’ sausage. As I mentioned earlier, Ina has a full, delightful recipe on her website for a roasted hasselbacked kielbasa, but any large smoked sausage with a similar texture would benefit.
Just slice the sausage, making cuts that are 2/3rds of the way through and about 1/4 inch apart, taking care not to slice all the way through. (You can use chopsticks as a safeguard, like we do here for these tiny potatoes.) Roast the sausage in a 425°F oven for about half an hour, brushing with any glaze (like Ina’s honey mustard) every 10 minutes, until the sausage is browned and the edges are crispy. Serve with hasselbacked potatoes and a hasselbacked caprese salad to maximized your hasselbacked enjoyment.
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