My favorite dish from abroad: bangers & mash
I absolutely love a good plate of Bangers & Mash...!
Through all of my growing up overseas, and all of my international travels, one dish sticks out to me as my most favorite food from my travels. I was introduced to Bangers & Mash in my youth during the time I lived in England along with other classics like Yorkshire Pudding, Toad in the Hole, and Cottage Pie.
My parents at one point lived in Doolin, Ireland; in a thatched roof cottage behind Gus O'Conner's Pub. I found myself walking from their little shop over to the pub almost every day of a visit to order a plate of Bangers & Mash with a couple of pints for lunch. These days, in the United States, if I end up in a pub for dinner and drinks with friends I can't help but order the Bangers & Mash!
Gus O'Conner's Pub in Doolin, Ireland.
Throwing down a couple of pints.
Just this past week I was surprised to see that Aldi had what I assume is a store brand package of bangers on sale. I got excited because authentic bangers are not easy to source in the United States unless you can find them at a specialty shop or butcher. Hell! Most pubs I've been to over here don't exactly use an authentic banger in their Bangers & Mash. My dumb ass couldn't resist and I ended up buying six packages at the Aldi!
Bangers on sale at Aldi!
Tonight for dinner, I whipped up a quick meal of Bangers & Mash and began kicking myself for not having done it myself before. I started by cheating. Instant mashed potatoes... Yes, I know homemade mashed potatoes are the best, but I was whipping up a quick dinner here! After the potatoes where done, I browned the bangers in a deep pan, and then set them aside. Next I melted butter in the pan, and added olive oil and a sliced onion. This cooked until well caramelized and then I stirred in two tablespoons of flour. After the flour had cooked for a couple of minute, two cups of Guinness (one bottle, my last bottle :( ), one tablespoon of Dijon mustard, one tablespoon of Worcestershire, two teaspoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt went into the pan. I stirred this and allowed it to simmer until thickened.
Browning the bangers.
Time to caramelize the onions.
I threw the bangers back in for a minute to cook some more with the onions.
All of the rest of the ingredients tossed in and simmering!
So how was it? Pretty damn good! The Aldi bangers were a big surprise as they had the same fine grind that I've had in actual Irish bangers. The Guinness gravy was rich in flavor and retained a strong stout flavor with a a stout's slight bitterness that went well with the potatoes.
...well the potatoes were instant. They went just fine with my plate of Bangers & Mash though! I finished off the plate with some French's Crispy Fried Onions sprinkled on top. This complemented the dish perfectly with a little crunchiness in every bite.
It's a good thing my Bangers & Mash came out good as I have a ton more in my freezer now. I can't wait to play with the recipe a little and do things like add beef broth to the gravy and chicken sausage for my wife. I'm kicking myself for not trying to make this earlier!
Now for Bangers & Mash from different angles!
A big, hearty plate of Bangers & Mash!
This was good!
What is your favorite food from international travel?