I wonder if Keith Richards uses Bisto for his Bangers and Mash?

Tonight after work, my husband and I took an unexpected trip to the new “Dutchie’s Fresh Market”. We were pleasantly surprised to find an array of fresh produce and meats and all at a great price. We were surprised because the first time we drove by the store shortly after its grand opening, the doors appeared dingy and dirty leading us to believe the inside would be much the same. Far from it, in fact, it was spacious, clean and the staff were terribly friendly.

Craig’s wandering eye led to the meat counter and with one look at the Oktoberfest sausages, he suggested he make dinner; a traditional English dinner of Bangers and Mash. Delighted not to have to think of something to make with the bits and pieces in the freezer, I congratulated him for his great idea and we grabbed some really good looking white potatoes and some fresh (not to mention, cheap!) sausages. I wasn’t just excited that I didn’t have to make dinner, but I was excited about the meal itself. Bangers and Mash is not something I have ever made myself, nor is it typically something I would choose in a restaurant.

While Craig masterfully cooked and mashed the potatoes with a variety of tools including my brand new pastry blender (pointing out that we really do need a potato masher), I made some accompanying jalapeno cheddar cornbread (a fabulous recipe courtesy of CooksIllustrated*). Craig served me up a mountain of creamy mashed potatoes and a generous serving of two sausages. I added a piece of piping hot cornbread for colour and then we doused the plate in Bisto – instant gravy that I’d never heard of but Craig was quite familiar with given his British heritage. He told me that one of his friends from back home was nick-named Bisto because he can be a bit “thick”… like the gravy. Classic Craig commentary.

The meal was just as Craig described, comforting, filling and perfect for a chilly day (even though it was 11 degrees outside, there were rumblings of winter mittens and Eskimos). After dinner, I had to know a little bit more about Bangers and Mash. I found some interesting history on Wikipedia which explains that the sausages, particularly those made during the war for rationing, had a much higher concentration of water which could lead to explosion (give way to the term “bangers”). Also noteworthy is the fact that Keith Richard’s provides his own Bangers and Mash recipe in his auto-biography – perhaps that’s the secret to his longevity.

Craig's Bangers and Mash

Creamy mashed potatoes, Oktoberfest sausage, thick Bisto gravy and jalapeno cheddar cornbread.

*Cooks Illustrated has magazine and online subscriptions which is why I won’t post their recipes on my blog. It is totally worth the money and I will continue to buy a membership to ensure they deliver the same incredible recipes that are perfected by their TestKitchen.





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