8 meaty villagers pork sausages
English mustard to serve
For the gravy:
700g/11ž2lb onions, sliced thinly
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp plain flour
600ml/1 pint brown ale
600ml/1 pint fresh beef stock
1ž2 star anise
2 fresh bayleaves
For the mashed potatoes:
900g/2lb floury main crop potatoes,
peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 tbsp milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the beer and onion gravy, heat the oil and the butter
in a large, heavy based saucepan.
2. Add the onions and sugar and cook over a low heat for 45
minutes, stirring now and then, until soft and richly caramelised.
3. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
4. Stir in the beer, beef stock, star anise, cloves and bayleaves
and boil vigorously until reduced to a rich, glossy sauce -
about 20 minutes in a large sauté pan.
5. Remove the star anise, bayleaves and cloves (if you can find
them) from the gravy and season to taste with some salt and
6. For the sausages and mashed potato, cook the potatoes in
boiling salted water for 20 minutes until soft.
7. Then after about 10 minutes, grill or bake the sausages until
golden brown all over.
8. Drain the potatoes and mash until smooth - a potato ricer
does this really well. Beat in the butter with some seasoning
and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy mash.
9. Spoon the mashed potatoes onto warmed plates and rest the
sausages alongside. Pour over some of the gravy and serve with
a good spoonful of English mustard.