Phew! Thanksgiving is over. How was your day? I know for many people, there’s a whole weekend of celebrating to be had but for me it was just one, wonderful day. Now I have three full days to bake and play to my heart’s content. If you’re ready for something non-Thanksgivingy then read on, friends.
Bangers and mash was a big favourite of mine growing up. We’d have it pretty regularly on school nights, usually with some really stellar thick and juicy sausages, served with mash, peas and gravy. God, it’s good. I would always mix up the mash, gravy and peas into one big, unidentifiable gloop that I was certain (and still am) took the deliciousness to a whole new level.
This recipe is English through and through. I mean, just look at it. It’s screaming at you to call it ugly and bland and I’m sure it’s evoking images of Oliver Twist saying, “Please, sir, I want some more”.
Well, beyond looks, this is just an awesome, very British, big pot of love. A perfectly Autumnal slow-cooking dish that is just a hair’s breadth away from classic bangers and mash. Except it’s so much more than “just bangers and mash” since the beery gravy is allowed to bake with the sausages for almost an entire glorious, flavour-enhancing hour.
Thank you, Nigel Slater, for coming up with so many wonderfully British recipes that give me new inspiration every dang week.
Go for plump and herby sausages if you can find them. Trader Joes does some pretty good ones and if you have access to a local butcher, all the better. If you can’t find proper English sausages, which is more than likely Stateside then do as I did and settle for 4 pork sausages. I chose Ukrainian. They are so much bigger than normal English sausages so you really only need four in the context of this recipe.
For the beer, go for something really dark. A brown ale would be grand or an oatmeal stout, like I tried. They are more than abundant this time of year. We love putting dark brown beers in food dishes, us English. It really is a stroke of genius if you ask me since this gravy almost blew my mind. Next on my list: steak and ale pie.
from Nigel Slater
- 8 plump pork butcher’s sausages
- 2 large onions, sliced into thin rounds
- a large knob of butter
- 2 lightly heaped tbsp flour
- a heaped tsp of soft brown sugar
- 1 3/4 cups stock (here’s how to make your own)
- about 3/4 cup dark beer
- to serve: mashed potatoes and peas
- Preheat the oven to 320F. Fry the sausages using a little oil in a non-stick pan over a moderate heat till lightly coloured on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a pan over a moderate heat, add the onions and let them colour lightly. Stir in the flour. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring from time to time, then add the sugar, stock and beer and bring to the boil. Let the mixture boil for a minute or so, then cover with a lid.
- Bake for 50 minutes, then serve with mashed potato.