Thursday, August 4, 2011

English Bangers and Mash

A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with a gentleman that came from Scotland, I guess you really could not call him a gentleman but he is a great guy.  He turned me on to some good old British cooking.  Things Like the Bangers and Mash, Nips and Tatties, and Haggis.  Truth be told, I really like all of them.  They are all very filling comfort food.  So today, I had some pork shoulder left over, and had a hankering for some Bangers.  The term Bangers comes from WWII days when the sausages had a higher water content due to rationing, so the sausages would pop and explode in the pan when cooking.  This is a savory sausage with a sweet undertone and mildly spiced.  I served mine with a reduction of balsamic vinegar with caramelized onions.  Delicious.  Onto the sausages.  Very simple to make.
  • 2 1/2Lb 1149g Pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into strips
  • 1Lb 453g Pork Fat, I used pork jowl cut into strips
  • 1 1/2C 173g dry bread crumbs
  • 1 1/4C 10floz Chicken stock Chilled
  • 4tsp Banger seasoning( see below)
  • 9ft Medium hog casings, rinsed and soaked for 30 min

Banger Seasoning,
  • 3tsp 9g White pepper ground
  • 2tsp 4g Black pepper ground
  • 2 1/2tsp 6g Mace ground
  • 2 1/2tsp 16g Kosher salt
  • 2tsp 4g Ground ginger
  • 2tsp 2g Rubbed sage
  • 1/2tsp 1g Nutmeg ground
Combine all above ingredients together and put in airtight container.  Use as need to make sausages, will keep in a cool, dry place for up to three months.

As in my last sausage post, I recommend slicing the meat into strips opposed to chunks.  Using my Kitchen Aid mixer with the meat grinder attachment it seems to work the best.  The meat feeds itself through the grinder making it much easier to handle on your own.  Make sure you put your meat in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes until it is partially frozen.

Keep everything you are using very, very cold.  Grind your meat into a bowl, that is set on top of another bowl with ice in it.  Before I start grinding, I fill two bowls with ice and the mixing bowl to my Kitchen Aid, I fill with Ice and water, putting any utensils or attachments I will be using in there.  This keeps your sausage from becoming grainy when the fat smears, and it is much more sanitary kept ice cold.

This is the meat and the fat after the initial grind.  I added the Banger seasoning and placed in the mixing bowl to the Kitchen Aid mixer with the Paddle attachment affixed.  Begin mixing your meat mixture at a medium speed gradually adding the breadcrumbs and the chicken stock.  Continue mixing until the mixture is very well incorporated and it becomes slightly sticky.  You will notice a white build up on the side of the bowl.  Very important here.  Take a small amount of the sausage, form it into a patty, and cook it.  Taste for seasoning.  Add more as needed.  If you made it to salty, you can always add more meat or breadcrumbs.  I had to adjust seasoning after my test.  The recipe above is the updated one.

Next, onto the stuffing.  I prepared the hog casings by rinsing them of salt and flushing them.  Se my previous post for detailed pictures of the hog casings.  Thread the casings onto your fill tube.  Make sure the tube is wet and that your sheet pan has a small layer of water.  This prevents the casings from snagging and tearing.  Plus it makes it much easier to feed the sausages.  Fill the casings, being care full not to over fill.  Twist off links around 4in long.  I hang my sausages for a min of thirty minutes after stuffing them to let the casings dry a little then package and vacuum seal them.  These will last in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for three months.

The best way to cook these sausages is low and slow.  If you throw them into a pan on high heat you will see why they are called bangers and they will split on you.  Lightly prick the sausages before cooking.  Place them in a preheated pan with a little oil over medium heat and lightly brown on both sides.  Place in the oven at 300F until the internal temperature of the sausage is 150F.  Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and onion gravy.  I caramelized onions and deglazed with Balsamic vinegar.  Very good, I also served with coarse ground mustard.  
Give these a try, you will not be disappointed.  They also go very will with eggs in the morning.  Remember, Source local, and Love Your Meat!!!

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