It has taken a long time for me to become a fan of bangers’n’mash. When I was in my early teens, the supermarket vegetarian options were still rather limited, so the only sausages available were severely lacking in both taste and texture. Added to that my previous distrust of mash (I’m rather picky about food being in any way mashed or mushed – mashed potatoes are fine now, and in the last few years I’ve even started eating jam, but I still maintain that god never intended the pea to be mushy), and bangers’n’mash just seemed like rather a bland, uninventive offering when I saw it on menus.
Oh how times have changed though, and I think it is largely due to the version on offer at Greens, Simon Rimmer’s vegetarian restaurant in Didsbury (probably my all-time favourite restaurant). He serves Lancashire cheese sausages which are absolutely sublime, alongside lovely creamy mash and gravy. It is comfort food, but it’s not at all out of place on the dinner menu there, it’s completely delicious and well presented.
Here is his recipe, using Cheshire cheese instead of Lancashire – I’ve made it both ways and they are equally delicious. The recipe makes quite a lot of sausages, but they freeze well. I’ve used them to make toad in the hole, sausage rolls or a simple sausage butty, but obviously they go beautifully with mash too. No mushy peas, though.
Cheshire Cheese Sausages
600g Cheshire cheese, crumbled
200g fresh breadcrumbs
6 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 eggs and 3 yolks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1. It couldn’t be much simpler – put all the ingredients into a large bowl, season generously and mix well with your hands.
2. Once it has come together, put it in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
3. When it has chilled, mould the mix into sausage shapes – you should get 12 decent sized ones. The sausages can now be frozen or cooked immediately.
3. To cook them, fry them in a little vegetable oil for about 5 minutes – they tend to stick to the pan a bit, so keep an eye on them. They can be fried like this from frozen, just increase the cooking time.