Easy one, but looks great.
Prep: 10 mins.
Cooking: 30 mins.
- Sausages – Big juicy ones – You’ll know how many because you know how many people you’re cooking for.
- Spuds – Big old ones.
- Cream if you have any, or crème Fraîche
- Onions – red ones preferably, but hey, you’re in charge.
- Stock cubes – probably red Oxo
- A few drops of balsamic vinegar
- Any old red wine you might have sloshing about somewhere….
- Peel the spuds. Old spuds are best for mash as they are less waxy than new spuds.
- Cut ‘em into bits no bigger than about 3 or 4 cms.
- Pop ‘em into cold, salted water and give ‘em about 15-20mins boiling nicely.
- Sausages: If they’re big, meaty sausage, allow 2 per person unless they are Rugby players or Firemen. If they’re weedy little cheap things….. well, y’know, allow a few more. Tomato sausages are nice, but I prefer the butcher’s specials. We have a butcher’s shop in Lavenham that sells incredible sausages. But, as the quality increases, so does the cost. Y’pays yer money an’ yer takes y’choice.
- Grill your sausages, allowing them to be cooked right through.
- “To prick or not to prick?…. That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler….” No, I won’t go on. PRICK! That’s what you need to do. Prick them, because the fat needs to run out. The fat will give the taste to the sausages before it runs away, so go on – PRICK! You should retain the juices & fat afterwards though, because even though you will bin most of the actual fat, the other jellified juices that will sit beneath the fat in the fat cup in the fridge will be very useful indeed. Don’t bin the jelly!
- Use the some of the fat, as it appears, to fry the onions vigorously but keep them moving; we don’t want burnt onions. ‘Caramelised’, but not burnt.
- After 5 mins of heat treatment put in the red wine if you have it, alternatively use water from the kettle (boring). Crumble the two stock cubes in. Stir and cook for 5 mins.
- Thicken with cornflour (see Tricks’n’Tips), then taste and season appropriately after a little while. Add the balsamic vinegar to give just a hint of piquancy.
- Drain the spuds. If you are making soup anytime soon, save the water for the base of the soup; it’ll make a difference.
- Cover and let the spuds steam for a few mins. Then pop some butter into the pan and mash with a masher. Add fresh cut chives (or dried). Get into the corners of the pan and make sure that it’s all mashed. Lumps are forbidden.
- Add milk and cream, making sure that it’s all ok, smooth, creamy; wonderful texture.
- Bung a great dollop of mash on the plate. Stick a couple of good, browned sausages on it, across it or in it, then pour the onion gravy all around the outside.