Saturday, Katie and I decided that we wanted bangers and mash – well, ok, brats and mash. Bangers are pretty hard to come by in Larryville – you can get them, but only from “Brits” a British import store, and they cost about $10.00/lb. Fresh brats from Hy-Vee’s meat counter were 5 for 5 bucks. Being exceptionally lazy, we bought mash from the Hy-Vee deli.
We prepped the brats by cooking them in a pan with a half cup of water, covered for 10 minutes, uncovered for ten minutes, adding a little Newcastle Brown (about 1/4) cup toward the end of cooking. It ultimately took a little longer than 20 minutes, probably 25 or so, for the brats to hit 180 on the thermometer. Actually, we let the beer reduce, then added just a bit more water to loosen it up, which allowed it to coat and color the sausages.
Onion gravy was really the star of the show however. I’d never had a real, English style onion gravy before. Now, that said, onion gravy is really not a gravy in the sense that we’re accustomed to seeing as with roast beef or turkey gravy. Instead, its a fairly thin sauce with very finely sliced onion that has been slow cooked until its utterly soft and totally caramelized.
We used this recipe, which I’ll quote here:
3 – 4 large onions, thinly sliced in rings, ideally including at least 1 or 2 red or sweet onions
400 ml chicken or beef stock
100 ml of booze – red wine, bitter or Madeira
75 g butter
2 teaspoons French mustard (optional)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Salt and black pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy pan and cook the onion on the hob for 20 minutes, stirring frequently until soft
Turn the heat down low, do not cover the pan and cook until the onions are brown, this should take around 1 hour or more, dont rush it, leave them cooking and read the paper! The long, slow cooking gives the depth of taste and colour to the gravy.
Add the stock and if using the booze, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.
Bring the gravy to the simmer, stir frequently, check the seasoning and serve.
Please do check the link though, as they have some other very cool looking recipes.
I should note that we used 100ml of Newcastle Brown instead of wine in the gravy, and I think that turned out really well. Our cook time was about 1.5 hours.
The flavour of the onion gravy is sort of reminiscent of a French onion soup, but not quite the same.