Monday, 27 October 2014

Sausage & mash

Another bare-bones post in great haste, to be replaced with a langourous photo-rich post when possible, for people who need the cooking for one menu plan recipes.

Total cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Feeds: 2-3, if you're 1 person you're going to freeze some of it

  • 6 sausages
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 - 1/2 bottle red wine (as you wish and according to how fast you want to cook)
  • 6-8 potatoes (you're making 3 portions of mash, 2 for other days)
  • butter (about 100g)
  • horseradish or mustard if possible
  • green veg - we usually do green beans and either peas, mange tout, or sugar snaps

The sausages

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Slice the onion in advance (slice, don't chop - strips not squares). Ideally, you want a deep pan with a lid which you can put in the oven. Failing that, a frying pan and a a casserole dish for the oven. Get the pan HOT and brown the sausages all over, rolling them about. Take the sausages out and turn the heat right down; chuck in the onions and fry them gently, scraping up the sausagey fat and goodness as you do. When they're translucent, add the red wine and turn the heat to medium-hot. You now have options. Fast method: let the wine reduce on the stove top, which is quicker, then add the sausages and bung the lot in the oven so the sausages reheat. OR Slower method: pop the sausages back in now, and bung it all in the oven. Cheaper sausages collapse faster so the fast method suits them; very meaty sausages will take a slow cook better; slower cooking leads to richer flavour, but it also depends on how much time you have. Not sure? Pop the lot in the oven for 20 minutes.

The mash

Srub the potatoes if necessary, but you really don't need to peel them unless they have hides like old leather. Chop the potatoes into roughly inch-sized pieces, put them in a pot of cold water with some salt, and bring them to the boil. Once they're boiling, they need about 10 minutes to be mashable - so in total this takes about 15 minutes. (Halfway through this you'll need to put the green veg on, so boil some water now.)  If you don't have a potato masher, just boil them longer and you can bash them up very successfully with a wooden spoon. When they're soft, drain them, chuck in 100g butter, plenty of salt and pepper, and in a perfect world a generous dollop of mustard or horseradish - I'd use a teaspoon of horseradish, or a tablespoon of whole-grain mustard, or a teaspoon of hot English mustard. Mash it all up together.

Green veg

Cook these in boiling water. (Rule of thumb: grows underground, put it in cold water & heat; grows above ground, put it in boiling water). Green beans take about 7 minutes, the very fine ones take less, mange touts and sugar snaps can be chucked in alongside 2-3 minutes before the green beans are ready. When they're ready, drain them, pop a generous knob of butter into them, salt them, stir it all around.

Dish up! After this glorious feast of plenty, you still have...
  • 2-3 portions of mash to go in the freezer
  • 1-2 portions of sausages in red-wine onion jus to go in the freezer
  • an abiding sense of your own splendour
  • the eternal gratitude of your future self

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