I think the primary lesson learned last night is that when you are making something that is by definition rustic, you shouldn't try to get all fancypants. Last night I made a fake version of one of my all time favorite pub foods -- Bangers & Mash with Onion Gravy. I say fake because I had neither the right type of sausage for true Bangers & Mash, nor an actual recipe for the gravy. Also, somewhere in my strange head, I wanted something that is probably incapable of looking pretty to look a little pretty. The result was somewhat cool-looking, but a total pain in the ass to serve up.
Two types of sausage, coiled into a giant sausage frisbee. Why? I have no idea. I skewered the coil to keep things contained, then realized that it really wasn't about to go anywhere so all that accomplished was making it annoying to take the skewers out and cut the sausage up evenly.
The gravy turned out to be the easy part, despite my longstanding assumption that good gravy was a tricky thing. I don't think my gravy was remotely authentic, but it tasted damn good, so I don't care. As for the mashed potatoes, that is my classic non-recipe dish; just keep adding stuff until it tastes good.
In the end, the attempt at prettiness was utterly dumb since I had to slice up the sausage to serve anyway. The finished product was not pretty, but it was pretty damn tasty.
Recipe after the jump:
BANGERS AND MASH
2 pounds pork sausage
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions sliced thick
1 tsp flour
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, to taste
1 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle olive oil in a preheated roasting pan or casserole. Add onions and stir to saute until they just begin to turn translucent. Lay sausages on top of the onions, sprinkle with herbs, and lay the bay leaves on top. Roast for 40 minutes or until sausages are well browned.
Remove from oven and set sausages aside. Place pan with onions on a burner over high heat. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir well to eliminate lumps. Pour balsamic vinegar and stock and simmer until thickened. Serve sausages and gravy over mashed potatoes.