WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson
Sitting around a bonfire with a snag in your hand is one of life’s little luxuries.
Simple, honest food like sausages smothered in tomato sauce and wrapped in fresh white bread are always a winner. Never ever can I say no to Bunnings sausage, they always hit the mark. Lounging around a fire with friends, cooking your own snags is a wonderful way to spend a night and it can be done in a way that is fun for everyone.
Pre-cooking your sausages takes the hard work and time out of cooking them over a fire. I know that this is cheating a little, but standing with your hands close to a fire waiting for your sausage to cook get’s a little too hot at times. So my time saving trick is to pre-cook the sausages and then simply put on a skewer over the fire to warm them up.
Perfect condiments that go with sausages…
- Home made relishes. Of course, you have to have sauce! But a home made version is an absolute treat. You may like to whip up some Tomato sauce from this recipe here.
- A selection of mustards - from hot to sweet, even a mustard pickle works well.
- Shredded lettuce, for those who like a cooling crunch with their hot sausage.
- Grated cheese, perfect to put on a hot sausage so it gets all melty and yum!
- Fried onions, you can’t have a sausage in bread without onions!
Spending a little time decanting your condiments can really give your outdoor party a little wow factor. It makes the toppings look so much more inviting. Even putting everything in an old wooden box or on a tray looks like you have gone to some extra trouble. I used timber wood slices that I got from my local florist.
Now, who wants a drink? I know I do!
A wheelbarrow holding ice and an assortment of beers is perfect for a bonfire. You an even stock it with some chilled wines or mixed drinks. This is also handy to have around for when you want to put the fire out at the end of the night - simply tip the wheelbarrow of water and ice on the fire. Another gorgeous drink to sip on to warm your insides is mulled wine.
Mulled Wine, ingredients...
- 2 clementines
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 200 g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2-star anise
- 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
- Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
- Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
- Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
- When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.
QUICK TIP! Don't forget a couple of bin bags to make tidying up quicker and easier and maybe some portable speakers to create a fun atmosphere for when your guests arrive.
Credit: Recipe via Jamieoliver.com, wine image via pinterest.