Sausages and Mashed Potato with Onion Gravy

Whether you’re a man who’s found himself in the kitchen for the first time or someone looking for a hearty dish to cook for the man in your life, follow our simple step-by-step guide to making Sausage and Mash, courtesy of Jane Hornby’s What to Cook and How to Cook It.

This is an old-fashioned recipe with one modern touch: a dash of balsamic vinegar that enriches and lifts the gravy at the end of cooking. Serve with a spoonful of Dijon mustard.

1 tablespoon mild olive oil
8 good-quality pork sausages
2 onions
25g butter
1 generous sprig fresh thyme
1kg medium-size floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
500ml beef stock
120ml milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put a large frying pan over a low heat, then add the oil. Fry the sausages in the oil for 5 minutes, turning them every minute or so, until well browned. Take the pan off the heat. Transfer the sausages to a baking tray and cook them in the oven for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, start the gravy and mash. Halve and thinly slice the onions. Put the frying pan back over a low heat, and add half the butter to the sausage juices. When it foams, add the onions and leaves from the thyme. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until softened and starting to turn golden.

While the onions cook, peel and quarter the potatoes. Put them into a large pan, cover with cold water, add the salt, then bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down and simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes, until tender. The potatoes are ready when a table knife slices easily through the flesh. Always start cooking floury potatoes in cold water and bring them up to the boil, rather than adding them to boiling water.

When the onions have softened, turn up the heat under the pan, add the sugar, then cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring, until the onions are sticky, dark brown, and smell sweet.

Add the flour to the pan, then stir it around until it disappears into the onions. Cook for 2 more minutes, until the flour smells biscuity and feels sandy between the spoon and pan as you stir.

Stir the balsamic vinegar, if using, and a third of the stock into the onions. The mix will be a bit lumpy at first, but keep stirring until a smooth, thick paste comes together.

Gradually stir in the rest of the stock to make a thin, smooth gravy. Once the gravy comes to the boil, it will thicken. Remove and set aside.

Check the sausages: they should be dark golden brown and sizzling. Turn the oven off. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Put the remaining butter and the milk into the potato pan, then heat it until the milk starts to boil and the butter melts. Add the potatoes, then take off the heat.

Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or, if you have one, a potato ricer. It’s important to mash the potatoes while they’re still piping hot. If left to cool beforehand, they’ll produce a gluey mash. Heating the milk and butter in the pan will also help you to achieve the best texture.

Spoon the mash onto plates, then place 2 sausages on top of each portion. Spoon the onion gravy over, then eat straight away.

What To Cook & How To Cook It
Jane Hornby
RRP: $59.95