Welcome to 2009, everyone. I know, it’s the 10th already. And already everyone is saying Already. As in, “Wow, it’s already the 10th! How did that happen?” In any event, I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season and are back at it, breaking New Years Resolutions and trying to get rid of that extra bit of “you” that seems to have somehow applied itself, as if by magic, to your bottom/hips/tummy. Thank you, Christmas Pudding. We had a marvelous time here at lick your own bowl. We toasted and roasted our way through a disproportionately pleasant number of feasts. We had the kitchen candles burning at both ends and by the end of it all we sat fat and happy, and looked back with gluttonous grins at the piles and piles of dishes waiting to be cleaned. This was our third Christmas here in Toronto and we finally found ourselves feeling a lot more in the swing of it all. It’s not easy getting used to Christmas time in a foreign country with no family. Back in my home country I could picture everybody lounging around the pool, toasting with frosty drinks and organising an impromptu game of cricket with a tennis ball and a couple party hats to mark the boundaries. This year, however, we found ourselves truely reveling in the season and all it has to offer in a cold climate. Christmas, and any holiday/celebration comes down to tradition, to doing the same thing, to the fun of looking forward to a particular way of doing things. Chez Mr P and I we’re in our third year of our own Christmas traditions and it all starts to feel a lot more familiar and, well, traditional. After a magnificent and decadent Christmas Eve dinner hosted by our fabulous and flamboyant friend Mr W we woke up late, had a cozy coffee and eggy muffins on the couch opening gifts and feeling smug. Our Christmas dinner with friends was another drawn out affair with the accomplished Mr P whipping up his usual, and fabulous, beef wellington.
After 5 Christmas puddings and a plethora of other indulgences we’ll probably be laying a little low on the calories here at Lick Your Own Bowl. I get the feeling, though, that we won’t be alone. Just to taunt you all a little, however, here’s a wee dish the Iridescent Mr P and I had before the real feasting began.
I grew up largely a vegetarian, but occasionally my dear Dad would rub his hands together at dinner time and his eyes would twinkle with anticipation as he whistled and sang his way through frying up a batch of bangers for our mash. With this being very nearly the only meat we ever cooked at home you can bet they became synonymous with good times and Treat! Back in my kitchen it’s a bit of an occasion too. Ivan made a point of wooing me, when the wooing was still new for us, with a plate of very masculine and entirely smitt-able bangers and mash. Mostly, they remain his domain in kitchen, but now and again I like to surprise him with a dish that I just know will bring out the child inside him a little. Such a dish is this. Be warned!
*Note: Obviously I didn’t make the sausages myself. And obviously, they being such an integral part of the dish, the better the sausages the better the meal. No one can buy industrial pork sausages and get gourmet bangers.
**Note: some people prefer to boil the potatoes whole, cool them, peel them then mash them. Help yourself, if that ‘s your method. I find it too time consuming to wait for the potatoes to cool enough to handle them so I peel and chop them before boiling.
Super Duper Bangers and Mash
For the Mash:
2 large potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
Olive Oil (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup milk
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
For the “Kraut”
Olive oil for frying
300g or so green cabbage, sliced thinly
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic
juice of ½ lime
1 tsp brown sugar
½ Tbsp Worcester sauce
salt to taste
4 best pork bangers (I used organic hand made ones from the Healthy Butcher)
– Start with the Kraut. Heat some olive oil in a large pan and gently saute the onions, garlic and cabbage, stirring often, until soft. Add the lime juice, sugar and Worcester sauce and continue cooking over a medium heat until caramelised, about 15 – 20 minutes.
– In the meantime, boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
– While the potatoes are boiling, heat up a thick based frying pan and fry the sausages until cooked through, turning often. The time here will depend on the thickness of your sausage.
– Check the seasoning of the cabbage mix. It should be somewhat sweet/sour. Adjust with more lime/sugar/salt to taste.
– Mash the potatoes with the oil, milk and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
– Heap a plate full of mash, top with bangers and cabbage.