The last thing I need is to get addicted to another comfort food, but I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s happened. And what is it? Bangers and mash, that British pub classic you may not have tried, but you’ve probably at least heard of. It’s basically sausage, mashed potatoes, and gravy but with some adds that I think makes it absolutely magical.
So, What’s A Banger?
First of all, lets talk bangers. Search out and find a simple pork sausage in a casing such as bratwurst. I think the best are the ones purchased fresh from your butcher. They are called bangers because of what’s in the sausages. According to my research, after the outbreak WW I, quality meat was difficult to come by, so they would add other nonmeat ingredients to the sausages such as inferior meats, cereal, and water. As a result, when they were cooking, the sausages would hiss and oftentimes pop open, and thus that’s how they got the name “bangers.”
I’ll take the contents of one of the four sausages and fry that up into a crumble. This will be added later to the gravy as it is cooking. Before cooking the rest I cut up the sausage into bite-size pieces and fry them up in a pan.
The mash is usually some form of peeled and cooked yellow potatoes that are mashed, but I prefer what I call “smashed” potatoes. I purchase small red potatoes, leave the skins on, cut them up, place them in a bamboo steamer rack over boiling water in a wok, and cook them until they are fork tender (about ten minutes). I transfer them to a bowl, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, a bit of butter, and milk (be careful not to add too much or it will get runny). Then I simply smash the potatoes against the side of the bowl with a fork.
Next I cut up and saute’ half of an onion in some butter/oil in another skillet, and set it aside. You can leave it in the skillet to warm it up later.
The Proof Is In The Gravy
The stout gravy is the coup de grâce. What makes it so? Well, first of all the stout beer that’s been added gives it a special flavor, but I also add Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, and beef demi-glace (to enrich the taste and the color), and then add and cook in the sausage crumble. I kid you not – THIS IS THE BEST GRAVY I’VE EVER TASTED. BAR NONE.
Assembly is very straightforward. To a plate or bowl, add a healthy scoop of the potatoes to one side and layer a bed of onions on the other. Add the bite-size sausage pieces over the top of the onions, and pour gravy over everything. A couple pieces of bread to mop up the soppy, a small dish of peas, a pint of stout, and there you have it. If I’m ever in a situation where I need to order my last meal, this would be it. SERIOUSLY.
For recipe click on Bangers and Mash.