This dish is a take-off on “bangers and mash” or sausages and mashed potatoes. It has its origins in London and Dublin public houses or pubs going back to 1919…the ultimate pub-grub for the working class. However, bangers and mash is immensely popular in all Common Wealth countries around the world. Its cheap comfort food that can be made in quantity. Normally served with caramelized onion gravy, some gastropubs today have kicked up the traditional recipe with mushrooms, garlic potatoes and some fairly sophisticated sauces.
Seedless red grapes and onions stewed in balsamic vinegar is surprisingly not tart and adds delightful richness to a spicy Italian sausage or traditional Cumberland sausages. The new potatoes are boiled in their jackets (not peeled) slightly mashed with buttermilk and seasoned with salt and pepper. The whole affair needs only a salad or other slightly blanched green vegetable such as haricot verts (French green beans) or asparagus. The next time you need comfort food for a gang on football Sunday try this dish. Serve with a pint of ale and you’ll score for sure.
- 4 oz sausage per person
- 1/2 cup red or green seedless grapes per person
- 1/2 onion per person, chopped
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar per person
- 1 Tbsp cold butter to bind sauce
- 1 large new potato per person, scrubbed and boiled until fork tender
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 scallion sliced for garnish
- Place sausages in 1-inch of water in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Cook until nearly all water dissipates and sausages begin to brown.
- Add onions and cook until wilted and fragrant.
- Add grapes and balsamic vinegar and cook until sausages are browned on all sides. (Turn sausages to brown as sauce stews.)
- Meanwhile, boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and mash until broken up. Add buttermilk and mash until lumpy. (You want texture here.)
- Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Keep warm over simmering water until serving time.
- When sausages are done, remove from pan, swirl cold butter into grape and onion sauce until smooth and thickened sauce results.
- Plate mashed potatoes, top with sausages, spoon grape and onion sauce over all.
- Garnish with sliced scallion threads.