Sausage and mash with beer and onion gravy
Having written a whole book on sausage and mash I feel I could do a PhD on the subject. Here’s a good simple version. Personally I prefer frying them but shoving them in the oven is undoubtedly less messy and leaves you more room on the top of the stove. I’ve given both options
Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour
Cost: £1-£1.50 a head
2 x 400g packs of decent quality sausages e.g. Cumberland
3 tbsp oil
For the mash
4-5 large old (i.e. not new) potatoes, about 900g in total
A good slice of butter (about 40g)
50-75ml (1/4 mug) warm milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
If you’re baking the sausages heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. While it’s heating peel the potatoes and halve or quarter them so you have even sized pieces. Put them in a saucepan, cover them with cold water and bring them to the boil (about 5 minutes) Skim off any froth, season them with salt then cook them for 20-25 minutes until you can put the tip of a knife into them without any resistance.
Meanwhile put 2 tbsp of oil in a roasting tin and heat it in the oven for about 4-5 minutes. Cut the links between the sausages and tip them into the pan, turning them so they are evenly covered with oil. Return to the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, turning them occasionally.
If you’re cooking the sausages in a pan heat the oil over a moderate heat, add the sausages and brown them lightly on all sides. Turn the heat down slightly and continue to cook them for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Pour off any excess fat if they seem to be stewing rather than frying.
While the sausages and spuds are cooking make the gravy (see below)
Once the potatoes are cooked pour off the water (or drain them in a colander and return them to the pan). Put the pan of potatoes back over the heat for a few seconds to dry up any excess moisture.
Take the pan off the heat, chop the potatoes up roughly with a knife then mash them with a potato masher or a fork until they are smooth and lump-free. Beat in the butter and enough warm milk to make a soft but not sloppy consistency. Season with salt and black pepper. Once cooked they’ll keep warm for about 20 minutes with the pan lid on.
Serve the sausages with a good dollop of mash and spoon the gravy over.
For the beer and onion gravy
3 medium onions (about 300-350g), peeled and sliced
1 tbsp cooking oil
A lump of butter (about 20g)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
225ml (1 mug) of stock made with boiling water and 1 tsp Marmite
100ml (just under 1/2 mug) traditional ale
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp brown sauce (optional)
Heat a heavy saucepan or small frying pan over a moderate heat, add the oil then, a few seconds later, the butter. Tip in the onions, stir well and cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until soft and beginning to brown. Stir in the sugar, cook for a minute then add the flour and stir. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring as you go. Add the ale, bring to the boil then turn the heat right down and simmer for 5 minutes or until ready to use it. Season to taste with pepper and a teaspoon or so of brown sauce if you have some.