Thursday, November 02, 2006

London Calling

Guest post by daughter

For my last semester of college, I went to London in Chico State’s study abroad program. It was the best thing I ever did, and the best time in my life (thus far anyway). It is now approaching two years since I left for jolly ol’ England, and to satisfy my nostalgia, I decided to whip up good old Bangers and Mash, or a modern variation on it, with sautéed herbs and horseradish mashed potatoes.

During the first month in London, my roommate and I went to a pub (she had a Guinness, I had cider) to sort of celebrate being in London. She refused to believe that sausages and mashed potatoes were called Bangers and Mash. So, in my exasperation, I turned to the bartender and asked him if it was true. He said yes, and the older gentleman sitting next to me even told us where it originated. Though I can’t recall the story, I do believe he mentioned sailors and sexual connotations.

This was my first time making Bangers and Mash, and though Cumberland sausages are usually the meat of choice, these can be hard to find, particularly at the local Safeway. I had to make do with plain white bangers, which are significantly less flavorful.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the meal. Even with all of the flavor going on, it was still rather bland. No one flavor zinged liked I hoped it would. But, then I remember, British food is known for being bland. All in all, this recipe is a good one, and I will be making it again, hopefully for my various roommates from London! And if you can locate Cumberland sausages, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Bangers and Mash

4 British bangers
3 cloves garlic
Sage leaves
Olive oil
4 Russet potatoes
Sea salt and black pepper
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
1 Tablespoon creamed horseradish
2 red onions
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 beef bouillon cube

For the sausages:
Heat olive oil and sauté garlic for a minute or two, then sauté the sage and rosemary until sage is crispy. Add sausages to flavored oil and fry according to package instructions.

For the potatoes:
Boil 2 quarts of water and peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Boil potatoes until cooked. Drain and return to pot. Mash until smooth and add in milk, 5 tablespoons butter, and horseradish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the gravy:
Fry the onions slowly in a little oil, covered for 15 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and turn up the heat. As soon as the onions become golden brown, pour in vinegar and boil until it almost disappears. Turn the heat down and add the rest of the butter. Crumble in the bouillon and pour in 1 ½ cups water and stir well. Let simmer until you have a nice gravy.

Top potatoes with sausages and spoon over gravy. Sprinkle garlic and herbs over the top, if desired. Serve with rolls, or the traditional “mushy peas.”

1 comment:

Susie said...

Hooray for bangers and mash!! I think next up should be the traditional English breakfast!