British Sausages with Mustard Mash and Onion Gravy
The humble sausage has been much abused and maligned over recent years, with supermarket value ranges costing as little as 3p per banger, and containing as little as 30% pork. This pork is often of poor quality, and sourced from the continental pig prisons Jamie exposed on last night's programme. The other 70% is likely to be a cocktail of fillers and chemicals that you'd need a PHD in chemistry just to get your head around.
But made with love and integrity, the sausage can be a delight. I'm lucky to have an excellent and long established family butcher's nearby which sources all of its meat and game from the surrounding farm and heath land. It's the kind of place where, especially in the winter, you might well see a wild boar hanging outside the door, or a selection of game birds and rabbits, no doubt shot by some ruddy-cheeked fellow in the Preseli Hills. The sausages I buy there cost about 40p each, and contain over 80% local pork, with different herbs and spices added for flavour - I love the chilli variety, and the pork and leek, which I used in this recipe!
Lately there seems to have been a real trend for taking traditional, homely dishes made from season ingredients, and just cooking them really well. I'm all for it, and what could be more traditionally British than good old bangers and mash? In these grim economic times, we still want to feed our friends and families well while watching the pennies, and even with the finest British sausages, this dish comes in at a little over a pound a portion. You could even call it credit crunch munch! (I see a book title there!)
2 knobs of butter
3 medium onions, halved and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
Small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
8 good quality sausages (preferably British)
1kg of floury potatoes, such as King Edward
100ml of milk
50ml of cream
1 teaspoon of grain mustard
1 tablespoon of plain flour
Splash of red or white wine (optional)
500ml of chicken or ham stock (good cubes are fine)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Put a good splash of oil and a knob of butter in a saucepan and place it on a medium-high heat. Lightly squash the garlic cloves, and when the butter has melted, add them to the pan with half of the picked thyme leaves.
When the thyme starts to fizzle and spit, add in all of the onions with a pinch of salt. Stir the onions around to coat them in the flavoured fat, then turn the heat down low and place a lid on the pan. Leave for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have cooked down and become soft and buttery.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into golf ball sized pieces. Place them in a pan of cold, salted water and put to one side.
Take the onions off the heat and put a small roasting tin on the hob. Turn the heat up, add a splash of oil, and quickly brown the sausages on all sides.
Turn off the heat, remove the sausages to a plate, then tip the onions and garlic into the roasting tin. Lay the sausages on top of the onions and put the tin in the preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes.
For the mustard mash, put the pan of potatoes on a high heat with a lid on, bring to the boil, then cook until tender (approx 15 minutes). Drain the potatoes then put them back in the pan, and mash well with the milk, cream, mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Replace the lid and keep warm.
Switch the oven off and remove the roasting tin. Place the sausages on a plate, and put them back in the oven with the door ajar to keep warm. You can also warm the dinner plates at this point.
To make the gravy, pour any excess fat from the roasting tin and disgard. Put the tin on the hob on a medium heat, and stir the tablespoon of flour into the onions. Add a splash of wine (or stock) and allow it to bubble briefly while scraping up the sticky bits on the bottom of the tin. Add the stock then stir everything together until a thick gravy forms. Taste for seasoning (it might not need salt), then turn down the heat and leave to simmer.
Remove the sausages and plates from the oven. Spoon the mash into the centre of the plates, lay two sausages against the mash, then spoon over the onion gravy and sprinkle with the reserved thyme leaves.
Serve with simply cooked broccoli or greens.
Yummm!, i love sausages with mash but unfortunately where i am we dont get fresh sausages , just the precooked packed ones, . But yours look yummy
by Mamma Carla
Great great traditional dish! I wish we had good sausages here to make it but........