A top-five of winter warmers wouldn't be worth anything if bangers and mash were not included. It is one of the most warming, quintessentially wintery meals I can think of. Basically it's a simple meal - sausages on mashed potato, with a gravy poured over it. Doesn't sound all that appetising, or worth blogging about, does it? Well, that depends on how you go about the gravy...
I learned the key to amazing bangers and mash a few years ago, when working in that well known Wellington haunt Kitty O'Sheas. The chef would make an onion gravy, with red wine and other tasty goodies and, once it had reduced a little, bang it into the oven for a half hour, to produce sausages covered in a lovely, slighty sticky, caramelised onion sauce. Amazing, seriously. The mash, well that's up to you how you do that. Using kumara is always a good idea, or add a little sour cream or cream cheese while mashing (as well as the obligatory knob of butter and dash of milk!).
So here it is, the tastiest bangers and mash you'll come across. That's a big call, but I reckon it'd hold up. Yum!
potatoes, enough for three people
butter, milk etc (for mashing later)
6 sausages (I like beef ones - make sure they're real meat, not flavoured muck)
4 onions, sliced thinly in rings
50 g butter
pinch sea salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with blade of knife
1 tbsp brown sugar
good grind of pepper
1 glass red wine (c. 150 ml)
dash worchester sauce
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 L stock (I used beef)
sprig fresh rosemary or thyme (or both!)
- Have the potatoes all peeled, chopped, and sitting in pot of water, ready to go later on.
- Heat oil in large pan (one which can go in the oven. If you don't have one, use a casserole dish which is okay on the element. Failing all else, use pan for stove-top stuff, then transfer into ovenproof casserole when the lot goes in the oven) on medium-low. Brown the sausages slightly, but don't worry about cooking them - just colour the skins. Remove and place aside on plate (you'll add them back later).
- Melt butter in pan, add onions and sea salt (to bring out the flavour) and cook slowly for about 10 minutes, until softened and slightly translucent. Don't trade butter for margarine, if you can help it - butter has a flavour that margarines just generally don't.
- Stir in brown sugar, garlic and pepper. Turn up the heat and add wine, to deglaze the pan. Simmer for a few minutes, to slightly reduce the liquid. Add all other ingredients and let it burble away for 20 minutes, to reduce a bit.
- Add sausages back to the fold and place the lot in a pre-heated 180 degree oven, for 30 minutes. At this point turn on your tatties, and organise any other veges you want on the side.
- Enjoy your sticky, yummy onion gravy with the sausages on a nice fluffy bed of mashed spud. Brilliant, and best served with a glass of winter warming red.