A British Classic: Bangers and Mash

It’s Kitchen Witch Wednesday

Sausages, seen in Covered Market, Oxford.

Sausages, seen in Covered Market, Oxford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If there is one food you just can’t beat, it’s a good ol’ British sausage. Every region has its favourite. You can find a couple sausages links on your plate with a Full English Breakfast in the morning; battered and deep fried, and served with a side of chips (that’s thick cut fries for my American readers) at lunch time; or, served alongside a mound of mashed potatoes and a spoonful of baked beans come dinner time.

Over 5 million Britains eat sausages every day. I can almost guarantee that at any given time I will at the very least have packs of sausages in the freezer.

It’s Bangers and Mash. A perfect mid-week meal that I can put together in under 30 minutes.

This is not a time for breakfast links or patty sausages. At our house, we like either Lincolnshire sausages, Cumberland sausages, or a Wild boar and Venison Sausage.

Heinz Baked Beans

We like Heinz Baked Beans

Sausages can be grilled, fried, or baked in the oven. I prefer to put them under the grill (broiler pan) at a medium-high heat. They need to brown, but not cook so quickly that they are still raw inside.

Test for doneness by pressing on the sausage with the side of a fork or tongs. A cooked sausage will be firm to touch. Until you feel confident in this, just check by cutting one in half.

Serve them up along with a pile of your favourite mashed potatoes and a spoonful of baked beans.

This is where we differ in our house from tradition.

Most bangers and mash recipes say to serve the meal with a rich onion gravy. We prefer serving them with a good spoonful of Green Tomato Chutney, made using a recipe handed down in my husband’s family from his great-great grandmother.

We have made an onion gravy a few times though, and searched all over for a decent recipe. Most call for you to add sugar and I don’t want it in my gravy. If you take the time to cook the onions down long enough they will begin to release their own natural sugars, giving a lovely rich caramelised flavour and colour.

Slow-cooked rich onion gravy

You will need:

1 tablespoon oil or butter (or a mix of both)

2 large onions, I like to use 1 red onion and 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced

1 tablespoon flour

1 pint chicken or vegetable stock

salt and pepper to season

Method:

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and stir to coat. If you want to, add a bit of dried sage or fresh thyme as well.

cooking onions

Slow cook onions until browned and soft

Reduce the heat to low and leave the onions to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir them round every 10 minutes or so. You’ll know they’re done when they turn a deep brown colour and become really, really soft. They’ll taste sweet.

Sprinkle over the flour and stir it in to cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Slowly add the stock about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring it until incorporated after each addition.

When to the desired thinness for gravy, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot, ladled over the sausages and mash.

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