Wednesday, November 11, 2009


(an ode to Sandy)

On Monday I saw my friend Sandy’s food blog about a bangers and mash dinner:
and my taste buds started imagining the flavors. I knew I had to have that dinner that night, so when Richard left for his morning coffee fix, he promised he’d become my Lone Banger Ranger (couldn’t resist) and go questing for some bangers.

A few hours later he returned with a 10 pound bag of potatoes on sale at Ralph’s supermarket for 99 cents (he’s part Irish and still hasn’t gotten over the potato famine), but not a banger in sight.

Since my craving hadn’t subsided, I decided to join him on his quest and check out How’s, a fairly new upscale market in the neighborhood. I’d never been before and it’s pretty cool. It even has a wine tasting room, but no bangers. Yes they could order us some for tomorrow, but that was the best they could do. That didn’t work for me. No way. So, we decided to go ‘over the hill’ and into ‘the city’ to the Farmer’s Market. There we would find fresh made bangers at Huntington Meats, Sandy’s favorite meat market. And boy, did we. Gorgeous looking meats. Gorgeous looking bangers. We had them wrap up four. Two for that night’s dinner and two for the freezer. Of course, while we were there we had to buy world reknowned chef, Nancy Silverton’s burger blend of ground beef that Huntington Meats makes up especially for her and its customers, but that’s for my next blog.

While we were there, Richard and I decided to explore the Farmer’s Market. We hadn’t been there in ages and we just drove all the way ‘over the hill’ after all, so might as well make a fun afternoon of it. Not a good idea, because before we finished we ended up in the Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market buying an assortment of delicious, fabulous, amazing – and expensive - cheeses to have before our bangers and mash dinner. We got a wedge of Tomme de Savoie (a sort of edgy muenster in taste and texture), a wedge of Brillat Savarin (a quadruple creamy brie-like cheese) and a slice of Bucheron (a very ripe goat-type cheese)… This put a big dent in our stream-lined budget of 2 buck for 2 bangers and a half a cent worth of potatoes for dinner. But even with these cheese tastes dinner wasn’t going to be more than $12 for the two of us.

Back home we sipped some wine as we devoured the cheese spread on slices of baguette that I freed from the freezer… and then sat down to eat our bangers and mash by candlelight. It was everything I thought it would be. The bangers were perfect (cooked just as Sandy instructed) and when I took that first bite, the skin popped and the juices filled my mouth. I was in banger ecstasy! Then a taste of the smooth mashed potato smothered in her onion gravy to die for...

then a fork full of peas (Sandy’s recommended vegetable)... then back to the banger. Food Nirvana!  Really. Who says the English can’t cook?! ;o)

For Sandy’s story and her recipe for bangers and onion gravy, I hope y’all visit her site. You won’t be sorry. And, while you're there, check out her other recipes. Though be careful, you too may find yourself a banger ranger or on some other craving quest.

Check out The Huntington Meats (they ship)

Update: March, 2013

Since Sandy's blog has been shut down - here is her recipe for bangers and gravy I was able to find:

Bangers and Gravy

2-4 Banger Sausages
Olive oil for sauteing
1 cup white onions, chopped

Sherry to deglaze
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup low salt Chicken broth (or Chicken stock)
1/2 cup whole milk
Wondra flour for thickening

Heat a large skillet. When hot, add the Olive oil and swirl in the pan. Add the bangers and cook through, on all sides until done – about 10-15 minutes. Remove them from the pan to a plate and place a loose, aluminum foil tent over them. With the pan still hot, add the onions and cook them until browned, occasionally deglazing with a little sherry. When the onions are almost done, add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the Chicken broth (or stock) milk and combine well. Sprinkle in small amounts of Wondra flour, until the gravy thickens. If it gets too thick, thin it out with more milk, or chicken stock.


Richard said...

They were tender and tasty... not stiff at all... thus... "no more wire bangers!" :)


Anonymous said...

Okay...thanks to you, Lonie, I've been double-bangered this week...not a good thing for someone in the middle of a Nutrisystem diet! LOL But at least it's been only vicarious, although I have to admit my salivary glands have been working overtime after this last posting. I think a trip to Shannon's Pub is in order for Sunday, my next "diet-free" day.

ilona saari said...

Aren't bangers diet food, Andrea? No? Well, the chocolate souffles are, right?

And don't make me laugh, Richard, when I have a mouthful of bangers. ;o)

saucyredhead said...

Bangers -- I ate them once in Merry Olde England and swore never again! However, these look good enough to make me change my mind!

Chimi said...

What in the name of Sam Vigilante are you up to, Ilona? Are you on a quest to rid the entire LA metropolitan area of Gang Bangers?

When I read that title, I thought you had lost it and had put on your Street Justice Beret and were out to make all Gang Bangers DISAPPEAR ... Jason Morgan style. I was at a loss as to what Bangers are. I vaguely remembered hearing the word before, but had obviously forgotten what it meant. I somehow missed the Pic at the top. I had scrolled quickly to the text. I thought, "Eventually it'll definitely be obvious in Ilona's essay what in Tazmania Bangers are." But, Nope! I read the whole thing and I just wasn't able to figure out what Bangers were.

I finally had to Google it. Ohhhhh! Sausages! Why of course! Don't they have Bangers at Walmart? ;-)

Anyway, I actually had a Sausage today at lunch. I don't know if it would be classified as a Banger. What's the criteria for a Sausage graduating into Banger status, Bangerdom?

Your mention of "over the hill" reminded me of the song:
Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother's house we go.

Only it would be:
Over the hill and into the city,
To Farmer's Market we go. LOL

ilona saari said...

LOL - I love your comments, Chim - and I actually had that 'song' as you paraphrased it in my essay but edited it out - so I'm so glad you've put it in. ;o)

Lana said...

You're talking about the Farmer's Market on Fairfax, right? I haven't been there in 4 or 5 years. Now I'm dying to go again.

ilona saari said...

Yes, Lana -- that's the one!