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Bangers and Mash for a rustic, hearty St. Patrick’s Day dish

Updated: 
March 7, 2017 - 12:05am

St. Patrick’s Day traditions in the United States run deep. We eat corned beef and cabbage, we drink green beer, and we shame our co-workers into wearing green sweaters to the office. If you’re looking for a change of pace this year (except for the sweaters, which are mandatory), maybe a menu swap is in order.

The Culinary Institute of America’s recipe for bangers and mash is a rustic, hearty dish that will easily earn its place among your holiday traditions. Creamy potatoes, homemade gravy, and sausage are classic comfort foods on the Emerald Isle, and this recipe helps you make every component from scratch.

You may be skeptical, but homemade sausage is incredibly easy to prepare. If you’ve ever made a meatloaf, you’ve basically made sausage.

The recipes we’ve included here call for the sausages to be stuffed into casings, which you can buy from your butcher, or even on the Internet. You can use a sausage stuffing machine or stand-mixer attachment to fill the casings or, if you don’t mind a little hard work, you can even stuff the sausages by hand.

For a super simplified version, though, you can skip the casings entirely. Prepare the filling as written, then form it into patties that you can cook like a hamburger. You can also roll it into sausage link-shaped logs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them to help them firm up a bit, then remove the plastic and cook them like you would any other sausages.

Once you have your sausage squared away, it’s all about the velvety buttermilk whipped potatoes and stout-onion gravy. Stouts, like Guinness, are bold and rich, with enough bitterness to help cut through the creaminess of the dish. You can use any beer — or even red wine — for the gravy, but for St. Patrick’s Day, the Dublin-bred Guinness is almost a requirement. Just don’t spill it on your green sweater.

Bangers and mash with whipped potatoes and stout-onion gravy

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 links sausage (recipes follow)

2 cups cooked white beans

Stout-onion gravy (recipe follows)

Buttermilk whipped potatoes (recipe follows)

Fried root vegetable chips (recipe follows)

Lightly oil a grill or grill pan and heat to medium-high. Grill sausages, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a 350-degree oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine beans and about 1/4 cup of the stout gravy.

Serve cooked sausages with the beans, whipped potatoes, stout gravy and root vegetable chips.

Duck chorizo

1/2 cup red wine

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

Meat from 1 1/2 pounds duck legs, skin removed

6 ounces pork belly, cubed

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

5 peppercorns, cracked

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Lamb casings, as needed (optional)

Plac wine in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer until wine has reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely.

Heat oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and softened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine duck meat, pork belly, red pepper flakes, cumin, peppercorns, paprika, and salt. Add cooled wine and garlic. Mix to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. Chill until the meat is nearly frozen, but not solid, about 1 hour.

Prepare an ice water bath and set aside.

Set bowl of a stand mixer over ice bath, and pass chilled meat mixture through the 1/4-inch plate (small or medium) of a meat grinder into bowl. Transfer bowl to mixer and use paddle attachment to mix on low speed until mixture is sticky, about 1 minute.

Take a small portion of mixture and cook in a hot saute pan until cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more to the mixture, as needed.

Stuff mixture into the casings, and twist to make 3-inch links. Alternately, divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form into patties. Refrigerate until needed.

Chicken sausage

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed

8 ounces pork fatback, cubed

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cold water

Natural hog casings

In a medium bowl, combine chicken thighs, fatback, salt, pepper, garlic, fennel, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to freezer. Chill until meat is nearly frozen, but not solid, about 1 hour.

Prepare an ice water bath and set aside. Set bowl of a stand mixer over the ice bath, and pass chilled meat mixture through the 1/4-inch die of a meat grinder into the bowl. Transfer bowl to mixer and use paddle attachment to mix on low speed until mixture is sticky, about 1 minute. Add water and mix to combine, for 30 seconds.

Take a small portion of mixture and cook in a hot saute pan until cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more to the mixture, as needed.

Stuff the mixture into the casings, and twist to make 3-inch links. Alternately, divide to make 8 patties. Refrigerate until needed.

Buttermilk whipped potatoes

4 russet potatoes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place peeled and quartered potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by about 3 inches. Add salt, and bring to a boil; cook until potatoes are tender, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Drain potatoes and shake off any excess water. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in oven. Bake until potatoes are dried slightly, about 15 minutes.

Place butter in a large bowl. Place a food mill on top of the bowl and process potatoes through mill. Alternately, use a potato ricer or masher to mash the potatoes until smooth.

Add the buttermilk and milk, stirring to combine. Season with salt, to taste.

Stout-onion gravy

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup stout beer

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until onions are golden and caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes more.

Sprinkle flour over onions and cook until flour is well-incorporated and mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Add beer and use a wooden spoon to scrape brown bits from bottom of pan. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until gravy has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve warm until needed.

Root vegetable chips

3 pounds assorted root vegetables, such as yuca, sweet potato, taro, salsify, or lotus

Vegetable oil for frying

Kosher salt, to taste

Peel root vegetables. Use a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or chef’s knife to slice vegetables as thinly as possible.

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with about 2 inches of oil. Heat over medium heat until a thermometer reads 350 degrees. Use a slotted spoon or gently lower sliced vegetables into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer to a towel-lined tray and sprinkle with salt. Cool slightly before serving.

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