This post is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. I’m always honored to partner with them to bring you bounty from my home state, in this case, Polish Sausage with Apples Onions and Butternut Squash.

Another great Apple recipe is my Caramelized Onion, Zephyr Squash, and Jazz Apples.
See all our Got To Be NC Chicken Posts here. Thanks for stopping by!

Polish sausage with apples, onions and butternut squash over spaetzle in a cast iron skillet.

Got To Be NC Pork

View of overflowing collards, sweet potatoes and other produce at state farmers market in Raleigh NC.

It is a real joy to live in a state with such a strong agricultural community. There are hundreds and hundreds of family farms spread across North Carolina, from the mountains to the coast. Our dedicated farmers are raising everything from chicken, beef, and pork to fruits, grains, and vegetables. There is plenty of commodity production here, but most of the farms in North Carolina are small farms with limited production and limited distribution. And a lot of that distribution happens at farmers markets across the state.

State farmers market in Raleigh, NC showing wide view of different vendors in a large hall with high ceilings and concrete floors.

That’s right. You can head over to your nearest farmers market, and I can almost guarantee you’ll find at least one vendor offering meats along with all the vendors selling fruits and vegetables. You know what this means? You can purchase everything you need for an entire meal, whether it’s Meatless Monday or not, at your local farmers market. The next time you’re at your North Carolina farmers market, don’t forget the meat!

This post is part of the Got To Be NC Bloggers Got To Be NC Pork Promotion. We’re featuring five pork producers from around our state who sell at the state-run farmers market.

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A Visit with Mike Jones of MAE Farm

The MAE Farm stall at the state farmers market in Raleigh, NC. Red barn like wall, front glass counter, neon open sign. White board lists Beef, Chicken and Turkey, Rabbit and Pork.

When I found out there was a pork promotion happening, I knew exactly who I wanted to feature and which vendor I wanted to get my pork from. MAE Farm is located in Louisburg, NC, and they’ve been selling their meats at their stall at the North Carolina State Farmers Market in Raleigh for at least as long as The Beloved and I have been in the area. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed their sausages, barbecue, pork chops and more, so I was eager to speak to farmer and owner, Mike Jones, about MAE Farm.

Listen to Mike tell his story in his own words here.

If you’re in a hurry, let me give you a quick recap of some of the topics he covers so you can come back when you have time.

  • Why he named his farm MAE Farm
  • Why locally raised and processed pork costs more–what are you getting for your money?
  • How commodity pork is treated differently than pork from local farmers.
  • Why is the meat at the farmers market frozen?
  • MAE Farm is a market within a market.
  • Others products available from the MAE Farm stall
  • A day in the life of the pigs at MAE Farm

My takeaways are as follows:

Before we get to the Polish Sausage with Apples Onions and Butternut, please take some time to check out our other talented bloggers’ recipes and profiles of NC pork producers selling their pork at local farmers markets.

Mike Jones, owner and operator of MAE Farm at the MAE Farm stall at the state farmers market in Raleigh, NC.

Got To Be NC Pork at Your Local NC Farmers Market

How delicious does all of this look?! We have a great lineup for everything from Taco Tuesday to Stir Fry Saturday (if that’s not a thing, it should be), to 1-pot meals, a southern twist on a Canadian classic comfort food, and some seriously southern marinated pork chops. Enjoy!

Collage of 5 delicious meals featuring local North Carolina pork available at farmers markets throughout the state. Text reads: Got to Be NC Agriculture. Got to be NC Pork.

Polish Sausage with Apples Onions and Butternut Squash

Polish sausage with apples onions and butternut squash over spaetzle in a cast iron pan.
Note that for the sake of the photos, I cooked everything separately. This is unnecessary for “regular eating.” Aside from the spaetzle, which you can make ahead and reheat, this really is a one-pot meal.
Red apples piled up at a stand at the State farmers market in Raleigh, NC.

Despite what the thermometer at our house says, it is fall, and our State Farmers Market is full of gorgeous NC apples and butternut squash. As far as I’m concerned, putting apples and winter squash together in a dish is a no-brainer. Add in mellow caramelized onions and the juicy, flavorful Polish Sausage from MAE Farm, and you are in business. 

5 golden stars for rating recipes

Polish Sausage with Apples Onions and Butternut Squash

Jennifer Field
This 1-pot meal of Polish sausages with apples, onions and butternut squash, made with main ingredients all purchased at the farmers market, including the pork sausage from MAE Farm, is full of fall flavor. Served with a side of homemade, buttery spaetzle, this is a meal you'll want to make to keep you cozy on cold nights.
5 from 3 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Meat
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Sausage, Apples, Onions and Butternut

  • 4 links smoked Polish sausage I used MAE Farm Polish sausage
  • 1 large sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cooking apples washed, cored and sliced (peeling optional)
  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash diced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • cup apple cider
  • cup chicken stock store bought or homemade
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the Spaetzle (technique courtesy of Ken Albala)

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose or bread flour
  • heavy pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • several gratings fresh nutmeg
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1-1 ¼ cup whole milk enough to make a thick batter
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions
 

For the Sausage, Apples, Onions and Butternut Squash

  • Slice the sausage into bite-sized coins and cook in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Drain out all but 2 Tablespoons of fat from the pan and return it to medium-low heat.
  • Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for a minute or so and then add the garlic.
  • Increase the heat to medium and cook slowly until lightly caramelized and soft all the way through, about 15 minutes. Reserve a large spoonful of the onions and set aside.
  • To the remaining onions, add the sliced apples and diced butternut along with another pinch of salt and pepper and the poultry seasoning. Cook until beginning to soften and gain some color, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the apple cider, chicken stock, and apple cider vinegar. Cover the pan and cook about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are al dente. 
  • Remove the lid from the pan and increase the heat to medium high to reduce the liquid to a glaze, about 5 minutes.
  • Return the meat to the pan and heat through. Adjust seasonings as necessary, and serve with the spaetzle.

For the Spaetzle

  • Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and dry seasonings.
  • Beat the egg together with 1 cup of milk and mix into the dry ingredients.
  • You should end up with a thick pancake batter. If the batter doesn’t flow off your whisk or fork, stir in additional milk until you have the right consistency. Do not lose sleep over this. A little thick or a little thin, these will still be delicious. 
  • Open a large, zip-top bag and tuck inside a large cup or glass with the bag folded back all around over the lip of the glass (like you’d put a trashcan liner in a trash can. This will help you get the batter into the bag without making a mess, especially if you don’t have an extra set of hands to help you.
  • Press the batter down into one corner of the bag. Once the water is boiling, lightly salt it, and then snip off about 1/4″ of the corner of the bag.
  • Hold the bag over the pot of boiling water, and stream the batter into the water.
  • When all the noodles are floating, you’re done. This will take about a minute. Drain the spaetzle and toss with the butter.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the buttered spaetzle, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the reserved onions to the pan and cook, tossing with a spatula frequently, until the spaetzle turns a lovely deep golden-brown in spots, about 5 minutes.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!
Crisped Polish sausage coins with sautéed apples, onions and butternut squash over spaetzle in a cast iron frying pan. Pan is on a wooden table. A large chef's knife is next to it as is a whole apple.

Y’all, the MAE Farm Polish sausage is so flavorful and so juicy, and the local fruits and vegetables are so fresh, this is about the healthiest comfort food I can imagine. I know you’re going to love this 1-pot meal of sausage with apples onions and butternut squash.

Cook with foods raised locally with love and care, and remember it’s as close as your local farmers market. Next time you head out, grab a cooler and some ice packs, because along with your fruits, breads, and vegetables, you won’t want to forget the pork!

Collage of 5 recipes with text saying: "5 pork recipes from your local farmers market" Also "#GotToBeNCPork".
2 pictures of 1-pan polish sausage with text between them saying: "Apples, onions, and butternut Squash".

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Cannot wait to make this. I know and love Mae Farms, and the NC State Farmers’ Market, so that part is easy. But spaetzle — I can make that? Well, you have never steered me wrong, so I am going to go for it! Gorgeous photo will keep me focused. Love this post!

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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