It was that time of year when I tried to prepare an Irish dish to celebrate my P.S.’s heritage. Among his 57 flavors, P.S. is part Irish. This year I wasn’t completely successful in my cooking. The creamed cabbage went rogue on me. I was so disappointed that I took a long time to post these particular recipes. In the spirit of blogging I want to say yes I had a failure, but the bangers and mash were GREAT!
When I was in the Big City with my sister Linda last month we hit up a grocery store for supplies for a party. I happened upon sausages that were actually named “bangers”. I was excited! I’ve never seen real bangers in the grocery store. My mind raced ahead: mash? cabbage? This would be a fun meal!
I made and posted creamed cabbage a few years ago. We absolutely loved it, but I haven’t made it since. Shame on me! It was time to make it again to go along with the rest of my Irish meal. Ironically, the creamed cabbage was the failure of the meal. The cabbage had a strong, bitter taste and ruined the dish. It was fresh from the grocery store, I should go back and complain. Later my P.S. discovered our milk was past date and curdled, and that may have been another part of the problem. The dish actually did curdle on me in the making. Oh well, the rest of the meal was outstanding!
I wanted to make sure I was doing the bangers and mash in a true Irish kind of way, so I looked up recipes. Ina Garten’s recipe looked best for simple ingredients and ease of preparation. I don’t think Ina is a true Irishwoman but I trust her knowledge of International foods and recipes.
Preparing the bangers was terribly simple. Place them on a rack over a baking sheet at 425°F for 20 minutes. Done. I’d probably have boiled them or had my P.S. grill them had the weather not been around 0°F in our neck of the woods. Oven prep was a good idea, one we don’t do around here usually.
Making mash is of course something I do often. I peeled and diced the potatoes and placed them in a saucepan. I added water until they were just covered, then added the salt. I thought Ina’s tablespoon of salt was excessive but I had to trust her. I usually just dump salt until I think it’s enough. Perhaps that’s about a tablespoon.
When the potatoes were tender, after about 20 minutes of simmering, I drained them and added the rest of the ingredients for a proper Irish mash. I used a hand masher rather than an electric mixer. I think those make the potatoes gooey and gluey. I’m surprised Ina used one to mash her potatoes.
I hadn’t added the second tablespoon of salt and good thing, the mash were plenty salty. They were maybe a tiny bit overly salted, so I patted my back for not adding more salt. Shame on you, Ina!
Potatoes mashed, bangers ready, cabbage heated, dinner was ready! I served it up to the excited Irishman who lives in my castle and he was pleased. My P.S. has always loved sausages and cabbage of any kind. He will often make mashed potatoes himself as a side dish when he makes a meal. This was his food, the food of his people. I enjoyed it as well.
The potatoes were so flavorful with the two mustards and were perfect paired with the sausages. Ina hit a home run on her mash recipe! The creamed cabbage was quite horrid; my P.S. ate it but I did not. The bangers and mash were so delicious and filling, I didn’t much mind the lack of a side vegetable. Oh well, I live to cook a better creamed cabbage dish!
Bangers, Mash and Creamed Cabbage
- 2# fresh bangers (about 8 large sausages)
- 2# potatoes; peeled and diced
- kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter; diced
- 4 ounces crème fraiche or sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the sausages on a baking rack on a sheet pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the sausages are heated through.
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan; add 1 tablespoon salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Add the butter, creme fraiche, milk, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, dry mustard, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper and beat the potatoes in the pan with a hand masher or a handheld mixer on low-speed until very smooth and creamy.
- To serve, mound a generous portion of potatoes on a dinner plate and top with sausages that have been cut in half diagonally. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
Adapted from Ina Garten