One of the guys the Accidental Locavore’s husband plays tennis with has a British wife, so we’ve been bringing them bangers from Jacuterie at the Millerton Farmers’ Market. Last trip we decided to pick up a pack and try them ourselves. I thought it was just going to be a quickie dinner, not knowing that bangers and mash require onion gravy. This made 2 very generous portions.
For the sausages:
- 4 large pork sausages, preferably English bangers
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the gravy:
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup beef stock
- Salt and pepper
For the potatoes:
- 3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil on high heat, add the bangers, lower heat, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from water and drain on paper towels.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the sausages, turning every 2-3 minutes, until skin is crispy and well-browned. Remove and set aside.
Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add onion. Stir briefly to coat with oil and leave for 15 minutes untouched. Flip the onions and leave them for another 15 minutes. Lower heat and stir. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until all onions are dark brown and caramelized, about another 15 minutes.
When the onions are dark brown and completely soft, add flour and stir well to coat, then pour beef stock over to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits of onion and sausage that may be stuck to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of butter, stir well and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the sausages.
Fill a large pot with water, add plenty of salt and cubed potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, 7-8 minutes, then drain and immediately return to pot. Pour in milk and remaining butter, then mash with a potato masher until smooth but still slightly chunky. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the bangers and gravy over the mashed potatoes and enjoy!
My verdict: Like I said in the intro, I wasn’t expecting to spend 45 minutes making gravy…
This may be an acquired taste, or one of those comfort foods like pot pies, that I don’t understand the charms of. Not being an expert on bangers, I found these to be pretty basic sausages, certainly not as good as most of the other charcuterie we’ve gotten from Jacuterie. The gravy, for all the time it took, was also pretty ho-hum (and quite frankly, if I’m going to spend that much time on onions, it’s for onion soup!). Mashed potatoes were great, but how hard is it to screw up mashed potatoes? If I was doing it again, it would be grilled sausages over mashed potatoes, letting good sausages and potatoes shine on their own.
Don’t you think grilling anything is better? Provided you can access your grill…
I can’t say I’m an expert on this kind of dish either, but I have to agree about the bangers. Grilling them sounds far more preferable.
And it’s so traditional!
Star anise would probably help the gravy…