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Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy

Sausages roasted until mahogany brown and served with mashed potatoes and onion gravy are a favorite in British eateries. The British sausage became known as a banger around World War I, probably because it spluttered as it fried. Along with minced pork or beef (or both), the sausages contain bread crumbs, which gives them a soft consistency and a mild flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. good-quality bangers or pork sausages
  • 1 Tbs. sunflower oil

For the mash:

  • 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter

For the gravy:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 red onions, halved and finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine, such as Shiraz
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Place the sausages in a roasting pan, drizzle with the sunflower oil and toss to coat. Spread the sausages out in a single layer and bake, turning them after 15 minutes, until evenly colored, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the mash: Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Place in a saucepan with water to cover, salt the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain, cover with a kitchen towel and let stand until dry, about 5 minutes. In the same pan over medium-high heat, combine the milk and butter and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside. Pass the potatoes through a ricer or place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add the hot milk mixture and beat until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the gravy, in a wide, shallow nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are meltingly soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook until evaporated. Stir in the red wine and stock, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer until a rich sauce forms, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the sausages and mash among individual plates. Spoon some of the gravy on top and serve immediately. Pass the remaining gravy at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma A Taste of the World (Gold Street Press, 2008).