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Cumberland sausage and mash with red onion gravy

There's more to this recipe than simple sausage and mash. By using a garlic marinade and cooking these famous regional sausages in the rich, meaty gravy, you get a seriously tasty dish. The humble banger will never be the same again!

Serves 4, 20 mins preparation, 1 hour 20 mins cooking, 2-12 hours marinating

Ingredients

  • 1 large ring of Cumberland sausage or 8 large pork sausages

For the marinade

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sprig thyme leaves, picked
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

For the creamed mashed potatoes

  • 900g King Edward or good mashing potatoes, peeled and evenly chopped
  • 1 good pinch salt
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 30ml double cream

For the onion gravy

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Sea salt and milled black pepper
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme leaves, picked

Method

  1. Put the sausage ring and the marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag. Seal the bag, shake well, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight
  2. Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, tip in the contents of the freezer bag and fry for 10-15 minutes, until the sausage is golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, and add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Stir well and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions start to caramelise.
  4. Pour in the red wine and add the bay leaves. Bring to the boil, and cook for about 10 minutes until the wine has reduced and the onions are soft and gooey.
  5. Add the beef stock, mix well and bring back to the boil. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Return the sausages to the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the mash. Place the potatoes in a large pan, cover with water and add a good pinch of salt. Bring them to the boil and simmer until soft. Mash them or use a potato ricer, then add the butter and double cream, check the seasoning and beat until smooth.
  8. When the sausages are ready, remove them from the heat and keep in a warm place.
  9. Add the thyme to the gravy, stir and reduce it if necessary to achieve a sticky consistency.
  10. Pour the onion gravy over the sausages and serve with the creamed mashed potatoes.

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