Friday, June 7, 2013

Bangers and Mash

Bangers and Mash

     When I decided to plan this wonderful meal I was inspired from an event that occurred on my travels in Ireland last fall.  I was sitting in a nice little pub in Blarney.  A live musician was strumming her guitar as the patrons sat around eating their meals.  I looked across the room from me and sitting at a little bar table on a bench was a young attractive Irish woman.  She was wearing a nice black skirt and white button up dress shirt and gingerly eating her Bangers and Mash.  Watching her, almost so prim and proper like, cut her banger with a knife and gracefully scoop up some mash and gravy with both her knife and fork was quite peaceful.  She would then sit back, take a sip from her Ale, and smile at how relaxed and pleasant she was feeling at that exact moment.  Was it the wonderful hearty Bangers and Mash accompanied by the soothing sounds of the performer?  Or was it a great and relaxing ending to a hard days work?  I like to think it was the Bangers and Mash. 
     Bangers and Mash, the quintessential English/Irish pub grub.  As a man and self proclaimed bachelor, I like to think that meat and potatoes are the perfect, "guy" meal. I love the simplicity of this meal.  Quick, easy, and loaded with flavor.  I indulged myself in this meal.  Sat gladly on my living room floor against my coffee table eating this meal while drinking a nice ale.  I felt like I was back in Ireland even for just a brief moment.  Sadly I was unable to purchase actual English/Irish Bangers as I live in a small town in rural WV.  I substituted with Bratwursts.  This serves only 2 people. 
Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy
  • 5 Bratwursts, (preferably actual bangers)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/3 cup ale
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 cups yellow potatoes
  • Milk
  • 1 tbs butter
  • Salt/peppr
For the Bangers-
     In a skillet place the Bangers and cover with just enough water.  Turn on burner and boil the bangers for about 10 minutes.  Drain and pour in a little olive oil.  Brown the bangers on all sides over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes until done. 
For the Gravy-
    Meanwhile in another medium skillet melt 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil.  Cut the onion into slices and sauté over low heat until they start to caramelize.  Add the tsp of sugar and balsamic vinegar and mix to assist in the caramelizing process. Toss in and mix the 2 tbs of flour and stir until the flour has cooked.  Pour in the beef stock and ale and mix in the thyme.  Stir and simmer on low until the gravy thickens.
For the Mash-
     Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces and boil in a sauce pan until fork tender.  Drain and mix in 1 tbs of butter and some milk.  Mash and salt and pepper for taste.
     Now get ready, this meal as simple and unusual as it is will blow your socks off with its taste.  Place a scoop of potatoes on your plate.  Top with a couple of the bangers.  Finish with pouring some the onion gravy over top.  Enjoy!  You are welcome.


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