I’ve been obsessed with Bangers and Mash ever since I discovered Serious Eats’ Onion Gravy Recipe. Let me tell you why. I always thought bangers and mash were just bangers and mashed potatoes. I didn’t realize that in order to make it as good as what you might expect from an old British pub, a rich, caramelised onion gravy made with homemade broth is absolutely necessary. In addition to some great bangers, of course.
It turns out there are a lot of wonderful places to get banger or pork sausages in Vancouver which means you can warm up with this comforting dish this fall quite easily. These are some of the most popular places for artisanal sausages in Vancouver:
A lot of people like to cook their sausages on the stove but I’m always looking for the simplest and easiest cleanup method. Remember my post on How To Ruin a Foolproof Recipe? Having to juggle different cooking times is not my forte in the kitchen so I like to simplify and be as efficient as I can. I found that Ina Garten’s way of cooking it in the oven suited me best. I can set the timer, leave it, and go off and do other things. It also means I don’t have to deal with splattering oil.
The mashed potatoes are easy, pop them chopped and unpeeled into a pot of cold, salted water (I sometimes add carrots, cauliflower or broccoli to my mashed potatoes if I have some odds and ends lying around). Put it on the stove, wait for it to boil then turn it down to simmer. Set another timer and you’re good to go. You can just warm it up before serving.
1. Preheat your oven first for the sausages because it will take time to heat up. This mistake totally delayed dinner one night.
2. I like to make the potatoes first, unpeeled and placed in a pot of cold, generously salted water. Once I drain the potatoes, I like to heat up milk in the same pot while the potatoes are still in the colander. Then I take some out, add the potatoes back in, then start mashing and adding in more of the hot milk, butter, and salt and pepper. This is to avoid using one more pot to dirty and wash. Hot milk is the secret to making my mashed potatoes creamy.
3. Once the potatoes start to boil and you’ve lowered it down to a simmer is when I recommend making the sausages. I bake mine in the oven on a rack placed over an aluminium foil-lined baking sheet. No splatter to clean up and no extra scrubbing of pans.
4. I used homemade chicken stock that I had frozen months ago instead of beef broth to make the onion gravy. Try making your own and keeping them on hand in your freezer for moments like this.
Happy Friday the 13th!
Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy
Recipe Adapted from Serious Eats
What you need:
4 russet potatoes (or any potato of your choice, I used small yellow potatoes), unpeeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
Freshly ground black pepper
3 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups sliced onions)
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade low-sodium beef or chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 bangers (or any pork sausage of your choice, about 2 pounds)
What to do:
1.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Season well with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and place back in saucepan, add 3 tablespoons butter and 2/3 cup milk, and mash with a potato masher, adding more milk if a looser consistency is desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
3. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the sausages in one layer on the baking rack. Bake for 18- 20 minutes or until the sausages are just cooked through.
4. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add onions and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until onions are brown, about 15 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with flour and mix until flour is evenly incorporated with onions. Stirring constantly, slowly pour stock over onion mixture. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring often, then lower heat to medium and cook until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm.