This is the kind of dish we want to make and eat during the first storm of the season. Read through Sean’s story and recipe. Then, fill your fridge with root vegetables and beer, and your freezer with sausages. You’ll be ready when the mood strikes. -Maggie
Although “Bangers and Mash” is a British classic, I rarely see it cooked at home. For too many people, it’s a dish best forgotten, a relic from those dark old days when British cooking was nothing to be proud of. But if you take the three elements – sausages, mash and gravy – and treat each one with thought and care, this classic can be resurrected into something quite stunning. It’s a winter dish through and through, best eaten when the rain is pounding the windows, the fire is roaring, and the board games are being dusted off.
The gravy takes a while to get right. The only mistake is trying to rush the onions along; you just have to let them work their magic. Cooking onions like this is somewhat alchemical – turning raw slices of white, bitter onion slowly into a pan full of sweet, deep flavours is one of the miracles of cooking. The gravy ends up so rich and velvety, some are tempted to drown their potatoes in it, the mash melting into the liquid. That’s how I remember the best bangers and mash from my childhood, but with this version, I try and hold back with the gravy, using it more as a garnish.
I’m cooking lots of rainbow carrots at the moment. Most of them are heirloom varieties, and have a deep flavor that’s not overly sweet. I’ve found that beets and carrots pair quite well, sweetness against the earthiness, and this mash is a great departure from white potatoes. When it comes to the sausages, get the best ones you can. Ideally, find a butcher that makes his own and knows what’s what. You don’t want anything too sweet or spicy flavoring the sausage meat – I usually find pork and leek does a great job. This dish doesn’t take much, but has bold, satisfying flavors, while still managing to be elegant.
Sausages with Carrot and Beet Mash, Ale and Onion Gravy
Ingredients:For the Gravy
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil
- 2 medium (12 ounces) white onions – thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 5 1/2 ounces brown ale
- 7 ounces beef stock
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 teaspoons cold water
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large sausages
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 4 to 5 medium rainbow or orange carrots, peeled
- Salted water, for boiling
- 1 medium beet
- 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) butter
- 1 teaspoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Directions:Make the Gravy
- First, preheat the oven to 420°F.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan, then add the onions and sugar and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes. Stir every so often; you want the onions to caramelize, but not stick or burn. If you stir them too often, they will not brown. Add the balsamic vinegar, then the bay leaf, mustard, beer, beef stock and cornstarch mixture. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the gravy starts to reduce and become thick. Season with lots of pepper and a bit of salt and set aside.
- Cut the peeled carrots into 1-inch pieces and boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Boil the beetroot whole for about 30 minutes or until soft. Once cooked, add a tablespoon of the cooking liquid to the gravy, and stir it in.
- Drain cooked carrots and add back to their pan (off the heat). Drain the beetroot, peel the skin and discard. Cut the beetroot into cubes and add to the carrots.
- Add the butter, juice of the orange and caraway seeds. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Place the saucepan on low heat and begin to mash with a masher until no lumps remain. Stir to ensure all the butter has melted and seasoning combined. I like it really buttery and peppery, but adjust to taste. Keep warm on low heat.
- Place the sausages onto a baking tray. Drizzle with the honey, add the chili flakes and bake for about 25 minutes, turning once.
- Once the sausages are cooked, remove from the oven.
- Bring the gravy back up to temperature.
- To serve, create a base of mash on the plate, top with the sausages and then drizzle plenty of onion gravy around the plate. If you like, add a dollop of wholegrain mustard to the plate for zing.
Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic Studio. Follow Maggie Battista on Instagram.