Two things should have sparked your interest here. There’s beer. And there’s sausages. In Australia we call them ‘bangers’. But we do have weird names for things…to make it sound more fancy I’m calling this ‘beer braised sausages’.
What’s important is that your sausages go in the beer and then you serve them with a hearty spoonful of cheesy mashed potatoes.
This is a staple item in our household. Do yourself a favour and get the good kind of sausages from the butcher.
Beer braised sausages (and mash)
Ingredients for beer braised sausages
1lb (500g) of your favourite gourmet sausages
BROWN ONION GRAVY:
1 red onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp of beef stock
1 cup of dark beer (or cider. Whatever is your preference)
1 heaped tbsp of all-purpose flour
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of sage
2 tsp white sugar1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp freshly ground fennel seed
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp tomato paste concentrate
PARMESAN WHIPPED POTATOES
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 8ths
2 tbsp butter
3-4 tbsp of milk
¼ cup shaved parmesan
Salt to season
How to cook your beer braised sausages
Toss the chopped potatoes into a stock pot of cold, salted water, and bring to boil.
In a large frypan on a medium high heat, brown your sausages, with enough high heat oil of your choice to lubricate the pan, turning the sausages frequently. Once adequately browned on all 4 sides, remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.
The Beery Gravy:
Add the 2 tbsp of butter to the still hot pan and fry the sprig of rosemary and sage to infuse into the oil. Once fried all over, remove the herbs and set aside.
Toss in the garlic and onions, and turn up the heat to high. Fry for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. The juices of the onions will help to deglaze the pan.
Once slightly translucent reduce the heat to medium high. Season with a pinch of salt, fennel seed, and pepper and sugar and continue to stir until almost jammy.
Sprinkle with the flour while stirring to make a quick roux and then add the beer (or cider), mixing vigorously until the foam resides. Pour In the stock, mustard and tomato paste and mix until combined and glossy. If the gravy becomes too thick, add more water to loosen
Return the sausages to the pan, ensuring that the sausages are submerged at least 2/3rds into the gravy and braise with a lid on for 10 minutes, turning once after 6 minutes.
Parmesan Whipped Potatoes:
When the potatoes are fork tender and falling apart, drain and steam dry in the pot. Add the butter, while still hot and mash with a whisk. Pour in the milk and parmesan cheese and whisk until thick and glossy, almost the consistency of polenta.
Plate a large serve of potatoes at top with the bangers, and a liberal serving of onion gravy. Serve with steamed vegetables. To garnish, top with a sprinkle of the fried herbs.
Christmas is near and as usual, I am broke; there are gifts to give, feasts to plan and a ton of booze that insists on being drunk. Who am I to deny the drink’s will! But after most of the gifts are bought and wrapped, placed under the Christmas tree I’ve usually missed a few people of interest that I love, but can’t afford to buy something super-duper fancy for but to whom I still want to send a token of my appreciation.
Fire is a wondrous chemical reaction that has literally shaped Homo Sapiens into what we are today. It gave us the ability to eat things that would normally be inedible and makes things that are edible even when raw more readably available to be digested. Take the potato for instance; this starchy tuber of the hemlock family will make you quite ill if was ingested raw, not to mention pathogenic bird meats that will down right kill you with Cinderella… sarsaparilla…I mean, salmonella.
Sherry; that fortified wine sipped by senior citizens in small stemmed glasses or guzzled from brown bags under bridges by varicose vagrants. Sherry is produced the world over, but only those wines that originate from the Cadiz province can take they name Sherry, all others must take the name Apera.
With the State election here in Queensland hanging in the balance and politicians vie for power, I found myself glued to the television. The experience is like watching grown men and women bicker like spoiled brats playing musical chairs; two kids fight for the final chair and the one on the blue party hat is refusing to concede, even though he’s actually only squatting on the arm rest.
Words shouldn’t be difficult. Even a child can do it. Some people are great orators and can speak extemporaneously and about any subject. Other people have a more limited vocabulary, but can still speak at lengths about subjects they are familiar with. Talking is one of the easiest things in the world and yet, on occasion, this Barbarian can stumble and stammer or not think of the word for that skirt thingy you put on your clothes to stop getting stuff on them in that place you do the cooking.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers and Betty Botter bought some butter, but it made her batter bitter, but Betty Botter was a bitter batter baker, and Peter Piper, a forgetful forager and truly neither were triumphant at their traditional trades. Perhaps if Betty Botter and Peter Piper had pooled their possessions to better their baking, then their businesses would be booming. When baking with pickled and preserved produce what’s principle is a balance of sweet, savoury and spicy seasonings, cased in a cracking crispy, crumbly crust.
Once while absently attending the isles of my local liquor warehouse I purposely stumbled upon a glimmering black bottle. Apathetically intrigued as I vacantly viewed the description on the label which read “Double Chocolate Stout” I placed it into my basket with controlled abandon. I pondered in wondering certainty as to what I was to expect from the bottles contents; to me the sound of chocolate and beer were like chalk and cheese and yet if this brew could satiate my thirst it would be a minor miracle.
Greece. You couldn’t find a place in Europe with more history and culture. This is the birthplace of the founders of Western Civilisation. Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. A region of temples and architecture, mathematics and sciences. The Greeks taught the Mediterranean aristocracy; Greeks during the Roman Empire were the crème de la crème of tutors and were the architects of the libraries of Alexandria.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Wenches and Rogues, I am proud to announce the birth of my second born, and my first Man Child; his name is… Archer, and, if I do say so myself, I say, he has the perfect name for the son of a Culinary Barbarian. A strong, regal name. A hunter! A Warrior! A provider! When his foes hear his battle cry, they will flee in fear!