This is one of our all time favorite dinners and almost as easy to make for one or two as for a larger group. If I’m making for one or two, I sacrifice everything being really hot at serving for the convenience of a single pan to clean. 😉 I’ve cooked fried apples to go with sausage or pork chops forever and I have loved fried onion with many things but I think it was in a Little House on the Prairie book that I saw the idea of combining my two loves. My girls both had issues with “onyuns” for a while but have always loved cooked apples in pretty near any form. I was thrilled when they finally recognized the essential goodness of onions and I think I got them there through the combination of apples and onions (along with a bit of bacon grease, which makes everything taste better!).
My eldest is re-reading all the Little House on the Prairie books and it made me think of this meal.
For the Fried Potatoes
You can use most any kind of potatoes for this part. I normally use baking potatoes (Idaho) but use red or gold or fingerling if I have them. You can even use leftover baked potatoes. In fact, I sometimes bake extra potatoes on purpose, as I learned from my mom. You just need to cook them longer if they’re raw. If you’re in a hurry, you can microwave them or simmer them in some water to partially cook first.
Scrub the potatoes (if raw) and then cut into whatever size chunks you like your fried potatoes. Smaller cubes cook faster, of course.
Heat some combination (or just one) of oil, butter or bacon grease in a skillet. I like my cast iron for stuff like this. Add the potatoes and stir around to coat with the fat, salt and pepper at least (and think about adding some other flavor if you want, steak seasoning, seasoned pepper instead of plain, rosemary, cumin, paprika, etc.), then let sit and cook while you prep the rest of dinner. Stir now and then to lightly brown on all sides but don’t stir constantly or they won’t brown. If the potatoes are cooked, you can speed this up by turning the heat up a bit but if they’re raw I cook on a lower heat to make sure the insides get cooked through. Poke with a fork or cut a piece open to check for doneness and make sure all sides are lightly browned. If you’re going for the single skillet dinner, move them off to a bowl. If you want everything really hot at once, cook these while you cook the apples and onions and sausage in a separate skillet.
For the Fried Apples and Onions
If you’re using a single skillet, check the grease level and add more butter/oil/bacon grease if needed and keep the pan warm. If you’re using multiple skillets add your fat of choice (butter, oil, bacon grease or some combo) to the new skillet and heat over medium.
Peel and slice the onions into thin slices. Quarter the apples and core them, then slice each quarter into thin slices. If you want to be fancy, you can core the apple whole and then slice into rounds but I rarely bother. It does look pretty though. If you have chickens, give them the cores! One of my hens’ favorites treats. They eat the seeds first, then the rest of the core. Add the onions to the pan first and let cook a few minutes, stirring. Then add the apple slices and stir.
You can cook uncovered or covered. Covered is faster but I like the texture better somehow if left uncovered. When they’re almost done (apples are soft through and onions are cooked to your liking), sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar and let sit a few minutes before removing to a serving dish.
For the Sausage
I usually use kielbasa sausage but you could use smoked beef sausage or any other kind you like. I like to slice them into 4″ pieces then slice length-wise usually but when the kids were little I just sliced them vertically into rounds because it was easier for them to eat that way without having to use a knife.
Add the sliced sausage to the pan and brown. The sausage I buy is precooked so I’m just browning and heating, not worrying about cooking through.
Serve with some mustard for the sausage and some ketchup for the potatoes.