(Sausages with onion gravy and mashed potatoes)
This dish is the first to appear in the book, and the first I drooled over. Plump juicy sausages dripping in fat are smothered in onion gravy, and served alongside a heaping pile of buttery mashed potatoes. Bangers and mash is thought to have originated in the British Isles, becoming especially mainstream during World War I. A scarcity of meat during the time allowed sausages, which were often filled with scrap meats, water, and breadcrumbs, to rise in popularity. Today it’s a lunch staple across pubs in England and Ireland, and has grown to become an iconic comfort food.
Originally regarded as simple “pub grub”, bangers and mash have grown to find a place for themselves in the nouveau niche of gastro-pub fare. Updated versions of the recipe often include lamb, turkey, or beef sausages, topped with wine glazes and delicate roasted root vegetables. I, however, was in search of a version of this meal true to its humble origins.
After finally discovering a local joint that served up the dish in its original, rustic form, I was ready to knock off the first food on my list. I received a plate brimming with chargrilled fat sausages, a creamy white onion gravy, and some authentic Irish colcannon mash. This particular restaurant also included a pickled cabbage slaw with the meal. The sour mix provided a tangy reprieve from the overwhelming salty savoriness of the gravy. Warm, rich, and flavorful, I ended my plate of bangers and mash feeling as though I had grown up on it my entire life. A perfect meal for a rainy day spent lazing in bed.