Posted in Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

Don’t forget the simple stuff – Bangers, Mash & Red Onion Gravy

One of my favourite dinners as a kid was bangers & mash. Some good ol’ succulent Irish sausages served on a mound of smooth buttery mashed potato with a moat of gravy around the edges and a side of tinned peas.
Bangers & Mash with red onion gravy
In our haste and panic to get a dinner on the table we can quite often forget about the simple stuff – bangers & mash, shepherds pie, fish pie, pork chops, bacon & cabbage etc.– all super tasty food that will have you licking the plate and looking for more.

Growing up in my house the gravy would have been ‘Bisto’ and onions which was delicious but in my own house I opt for a red onion gravy instead. It’s deliciously tangy yet sweet as there’s both balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in there giving it that moreish quality.
red onion gravy
Good meaty butcher sausages are the order of the day and you can usually choose from a variety in the supermarket too. My local favourite sausage is ‘The Cork Boi’ made by O’Flynn’s gourmet sausages here in Cork – they’re flavoured with Murphy’s Irish Stout and are deliciously meaty.

The recipe here is from my first book ‘Gimme the Recipe’ :
Serves 4.

Bangers & Mash with Red Onion Gravy
You will need:
8-10 large potatoes
2 medium red onions
2 tbsp olive oil
8 butcher style sausages
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
500ml beef stock
50g unsalted butter for mashing
Splash of milk for mashing
Plus side of vegetables – your choice!

Peel the potatoes and cut to uniform size then place in a saucepan and cover with boiling water and bring to the boil. Cook for 20-30 minutes until cooked through (a knife will push easily into the centre of a potato.)
While the potatoes are cooking, peel and chop the onions in half and then into thin slices.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small saucepan over a low heat and add the onions. Leave to soften with the lid on for 15 minutes.Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the sausages.
Prick the sausages on all sides with a fork so they don’t burst their skins and add to the pan.
Turn the sausages occasionally until brown on all sides.
When the onions have softened, add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and turn the heat up to allow it to bubble and begin to evaporate for 2 minutes.
Add the stock to the onions, bring it to the boil then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.When the potatoes are cooked, drain off the water and mash well with the butter and enough milk to make a creamy consistency.
Serve this with some easy to cook vegetables like cabbage or broccoli.

Tip: Oomph up your mashed potatoes by adding some cream cheese and wholegrain mustard if you like it.

‘Til next time, Sheila

Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Red Onion Gravy & Mint Sauce

As a child treats were treats.  I had them rarely and on special occasions.  With supermarkets now on most of our doorsteps, and in some cases driving to your doorstep, it’s a common practice to buy in bulk, get tempted by the 2 for 1 offers and end up with a stash of goodies that need to be hidden from the tempted.  At this stage the kids manage to sniff them out and I’m met with empty wrappers when I go in search of a mid-morning pick me up.
 And what on earth you may ask has this got to do with Red Onion Gravy & Mint Sauce?  Well, as I mentioned treats were rare in my childhood, and if you were STARVING and in search of a snack, you made do with whatever you could scrounge up. For my neighbour Ronan, that was butter and sugar sandwiches, for my brother Brian, it was tomato ketchup sandwiches, and for me it was vinegar sandwiches.  Yes, vinegar.  I still love the stuff and anything that it’s related to, hence the balsamic vinegar laden red onion gravy and white vinegar saturated mint sauce.
(I promised this Red Onion Gravy recipe a few posts back to Colette to go with the mustardy mash – so here you go!  Delicious with Bangers & Mash.)
Red Onion Gravy
Red Onion Gravy
You will need:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
500ml beef stock
Peel, half and thinly slice the red onions.
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a low heat and add the onions to soften with the lid on for 15 minutes.
Raise the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and let it bubble for 2 minutes.
Add the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer and thicken for 10 minutes.
Mint Sauce
Mint Sauce:
You will need:

Small bunch of mint leaves
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
6 tbsp boiling water
Finely chop the mint.
Add the vinegar, caster sugar and boiling water and leave to cool (you may need to add more water depending on consistency).
Store refrigerated in a sterilised jar.
Great with lamb or mashed into potatoes.
Til next time, Sheila.