Do you have cooking fatigue?
Since lockdown began, we’ve all had to start cooking a bit more as the whole family is at home from school or work.
And, after months of the same routine we’re getting tired of cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner and all the planning that goes with it.
So, what’s an easy meal that we all often go to? Sausage and mash with loads of gravy of course.
To help you take your bangers and mash to the next level, the Daily Star spoke to three chefs to get their top tips on taking your dish to the next level.
This is sausage and mash like you’ve never had before – and here’s what our chefs had to say:
For the mashed potatoes
Andrew green, head chef at Ducie Street Warehouse explained: “Select a good Maris Piper potato and boil until soft, before passing through a potato ricer to make smooth.
“In a separate saucepan, boil a little double cream with some butter, salt and ground white pepper and bring to the boil.
“To take it up a notch, grate in half a clove of garlic and infuse the cream.
“Then beat in your potato. This will give a subtle hint of garlic.
“I like to finish with fresh chopped chives or in the spring, some fresh chopped wild garlic.”
While, Craig Keenan, Head Chef at The Wensleydale Heifer in West Witton, North Yorkshire added: “For an added bit of flavour remember to season well (salt and pepper, preferably freshly ground white pepper) and you can also add wholegrain mustard.
“If you really want to jazz it up you can add some raw spring onion and crispy bacon, or sweat off some cabbage or leeks and them to the mash – delicious.
“If you’re short of time, you can buy ready-made crispy bacon bits and add those too – just sprinkle them on at the last minute.”
While Irini Tzortzoglo, MasterChef champion from irinicooks.com, said: “I flavour the mash with some lemon zest, salt and freshly ground black pepper and the olive oil of course.
“And always add some peas for freshness.”
For the sausages
Andrew suggested: “A great natural skinned sausage with a high meat content is best.
“My tip is to add a little honey and grain mustard to the pan for the last 30 seconds, it gives a great depth of flavour. “
While Craig explained: “When making the very best bangers and mash at home the most important thing is to choose the best quality sausage you can.
“If you’re adding them to your weekly supermarket shop, then do look for the ‘best of’ ranges as that’s where you’ll find the highest meat content – and also sausages which might be a bit ‘fancier’.
“I love them with caramelised onions – it adds a bit of sweetness and they’re very, very tasty. It’s all down to personal preference really.”
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He continued: “Put a splash of vegetable oil into a pan (make sure it’s also oven proof) and lightly pan fry the sausages to get a good golden brown colour on the sausages.
“You’re going to use the same pan to make your gravy so don’t add too much oil – you’ll get a greasy gravy and the sausages will also lose some fat into the pan while they’re cooking.
“Once golden brown, put the whole pan into the oven on a medium heat for no more than 8 to 10 minutes. Any longer and the sausages will dry out.”
His top tip? Don’t prick the sausages before you cook them as you’ll lose the juices and burst the banger.
Meanwhile Irini suggests browning the sausages before adding them to a mix of caramelised onions with balsamic glaze, Worcester sauce, wine, bay leaves, thyme and beef stock and finishing them in the oven.
For the gravy
Finally, Craig recommended: “Use the pan you cooked the sausages in and add some hot chicken stock to get all the nice crunchy bits off the bottom of the pan.
“Use some diluted cornflour to thicken and, this is important, don’t sieve out the bits, they’re what adds the flavour you’re looking for.
“Then slowly cook off some onions until they’re caramelised and add them to the gravy.
“Use fresh meat stock from the supermarket to make your gravy rather than one you make up – the flavour is much better!”
For the final flourish
Crag explained: “Add some texture to the finished dish by cooking some deep-fried crispy shallots or onions; slice them thinly, dredge them through some lightly seasoned flour and deep fry.
“Drain off excess oil and add to the top of your dish.
"They’ll be really crunchy and tasty! You can also add parsnips crisps in the same way.”
We are drooling!
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