Monday, July 9, 2012

Bangers and Mash with Kraut

Bangers and mash are an English concoction of sausages over mashed potatoes. And kraut, of course, is German. As it turns out I am mostly English and German by heritage (with a little Scotch, Irish, French and Italian thrown in for spice) and these quintessential English and German foods go excellently together.

I spent 4 months in England studying literature in college where I became a deep, not really (the poet part). But that is where I became a vegetarian. Organ meat was the last straw after a childhood and adolescence spent barely choking down the meat concoctions my mother tried to make me love because that's what she knew how to cook and everyone else said it was delicious so why won't I just quit being so dramatic and eat it already??

On the other hand, my German-bread husband grew up relishing the wonderful midwestern fare his mother made for him and although he deeply loves the food I cook, every once in a while he craves those comfort foods from his childhood.

Finally, a dish that brings together our respective heritages, both ancient and contemporary, in a vegan yet meaty tasting dish from the Olde Country made even better by using home fermented sour kraut (or you could use a good store bought version). Field Roast Bangers and Mash. If you can't get Field Roast brand Frankfurters....I don't know....I'd say just find the best and most substantial vegan sausage available or use real sausage if that's how you roll. I find Field Roast Frankfurters at Whole Foods or the food co-op in a little town north of where I live. They're kind of expensive, so it's a special treat. But the other ingredients are very cheap so maybe it all evens out.

1 package of Field Roast Frankfurters (6 links), cut into rounds on the bias
1-2 large onions, diced and caramelized in extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1" dice
1 c. organic sour kraut (or home fermented)
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
1/2 - 3/4 c. soy milk or other nut milk (original flavored, obviously)

Here's how I do it:

1) Start the potatoes boiling in a large soup pot & boil for about 15 minutes until tender.

2) Meanwhile saute the sausage rounds in some olive oil in a large skillet (in batches if necessary) until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. This is something you could do ahead of time and then just keep them warm or reheat them when you're ready to use them.

3) Remove the frankfurters and set aside, add more olive oil to the pan and saute the onion until browned and beginning to caramelize, stirring very frequently once they begin to brown. This will take about 12-15 minutes, so be patient because it's worth it.

4) When the onion is almost done add the garlic and saute for a few minutes longer to cook the garlic but not brown it.

5) When the potatoes are done drain the water and return them to their cooking pot. Add the onion garlic mixture, salt, pepper and soy milk (starting with 1/2 c. and adding more if you want it to thin out and get even creamier) and begin to mash the mixture together with a potato masher.

6) Add the browned sausages and the sour kraut to the mixture and stir to incorporate. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or kraut as desired.

This should probably be consumed with an English Ale....and a German Lager.

Serves 6

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