Monday, March 11, 2013

Bangers & Mash with Beer and Onion Gravy

With St. Patrick’s day right around the corner, what better time to make an Irish pub classic? I wanted to try something different with the mashed potatoes, so instead of using a potato masher I worked my spuds through a china cap. It was a lot of physical work, but the potatoes came out restaurant quality, with not a lump to be found. Makes me think I should invest in a potato ricer. For the gravy I used a bottle of Avery Old Jubilation – an English Old Ale with nutty/toffee notes to it. Any stout or porter would work well here, with a Guinness being the obvious choice. Adapted from:

Bangers & gravy
1 1/3 lb. pork sausages (6 to 8)
½ large white onion, sliced
12 oz. beer (I used Avery’s Old Jubilation)
1 cup stock (I used chicken because that’s what I had in my freezer)
3 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp Worcestershire
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

Mashed potatoes:
2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes (or russet)
¾ cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp butter, softened

For the bangers:
Heat a 12” skillet over medium high heat, toss in 1 tablespoon butter and add the sausages, letting them get some good color for 30 seconds to a minute. Cut the heat down to medium, and cook most of the way through – they don’t have to be completely done at this point. Set aside. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the beer and stock to a sauce pan and heat to a simmer.

Push the onions to one side of the skillet, and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in the 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk to form a roux, cooking about 1 minute until lightly golden. Add the simmering beer/stock mixture ½ cup at a time, whisking everything together to avoid lumps. After all the liquid has been added, add the sausages back in the pan along with the Worcestershire, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until you reach the desired consistency – the sauce should coat the back of a spoon, and you should be able to wipe a line down the back of the spoon with your finger that stays put.

Mashed potatoes:
Peel and cut the potatoes into 1” square (approximately) chunks. Add to cold water to a pot (along with your potatoes) and salt generously. Taste the water – it should be a bit on the salty side. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, uncovered and cook until the potatoes are fork tender (but not falling apart tender), about 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain, and place the potatoes into a china cap. Use a ladle to work the potatoes through the holes of the china cap, into the pot you used to cook them. Meanwhile, heat the cream along with the garlic cloves to a simmer. Remove from heat and keep warm. When all of the potatoes have been passed through the china cap, strain the garlic/cream through a strainer into the pot with the mashed potatoes. Discard the garlic. Fold the cream into the potatoes gently – pretend your baking – so as to add air to the mixture. Add the 4 tablespoons of softened butter, and continue to fold until incorporated. Season with additional salt if you think it needs it.


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