Gourmet Bangers and Mash

I know what you are thinking – Gourmet and Banger in the same breath. Gourmet conjures up images of white linens, fine china and fancy foods while Banger brings to mind a pub. Oh, but presentation could transform a simple pub platter into a gourmet dish, right?

Have you ever wondered about the British Banger? I mean, why on earth would anyone call a sausage in casing a Banger? Although some claim that the term “bangers” has its origins in World War II, the term was actually in use at least as far back as 1919. The term “bangers” is attributed (in common usage in the UK) to the fact that sausages made during World War I, when there were meat shortages, were made with such a high water content that they were more liable to pop under high heat when cooked. This “pop” was a bang sound – leading to the affectionate term for sausage as “bangers”.

Much to my surprise, our grocery store carried authentic British Bangers. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Bangers, as it turns out, taste very similar to Bratwurst. If you cannot find Bangers, Bratwurst will work in a pinch.

This dish was very flavorful. The nutmeg in the “mash” gave them a lovely, sweet flavor. The gravy with finely chopped onions and a splash of wine was delicious. About the only thing missing was a pint of ale and a friendly game of darts.

Gourmet Bangers & Mash
Ingredients – The Mash
7 Medium Yukon potatoes, peeled
salt
1⁄2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 Pinch nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

Peel and dice potatoes. Place in a heavy-bottom pot, fill with water enough to just cover potatoes. Season with a pinch of salt.

Cover pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once pot begins to boil, remove lid and continue to boil until potatoes are fork-tender; about 15-20 minutes.

Drain potatoes. Return to pot and allow potatoes to dry over low heat.

Warm milk with two tablespoons butter. Set aside until ready to use.

With a ricer or potato masher, mash potatoes. Once potatoes are mashed, add warm milk-butter mixture a little at time, mashing between additions. Continue to mash and add warm milk until desired consistency is reached. (Smooth and stiff). Season with a pinch of nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and keep warm until ready to plate. (Keeping in a warm oven is a great way to keep potatoes nice and warm).

Ingredients – The Sausage (Bangers)
6 or 8 Sausages (British Bangers or Bratwurst)
Olive Oil or Cooking Spray (Pam)

Lightly spray or brush an oven-safe grill-pan with cooking spray. (Just enough to prevent sausage from sticking to the pan.

Place bangers in pan and grill over medium heat until nicely browned, about 6-8 minutes. Rotate bangers and continue to grill until nicely browned on all sides.

Leave bangers in grill-pan and place in a warm oven until ready to plate.

Ingredients – Gourmet Pub Gravy
1 1⁄2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Teaspoon Chicken bouillon granules
1 onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 Cup Red Wine
2 Tablespoons Butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat chicken stock with bouillon granules, keep warm until ready to use.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until onions just begin to brown.

Sprinkle onions with flour, cook 1 minute. Add Dijon mustard and red wine. Once wine begins to bubble, add warm chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, reduce to low and continue to cook until gravy thickens.

Whisk in 2 tablespoons butter, one 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting for butter to melt into gravy before adding second tablespoon.

Taste gravy, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Plate a rounded mound of mashed potatoes on individual plates. Place bangers along side mash. Spoon gravy around plate. If desired, garnish potatoes with a little chopped chives. Serve and enjoy.

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