Happy St. Patrick's Day. Are you looking for an authentic "Irish Bangers" recipe? Well good luck, The Irish don't have much of a sausage making tradition, unless yer up for making a Dirsheen, which is a blood sausage. For a further discussion of Irish bangers, click here.
One thing the Irish do have a lot of is sheep, and last week I was obssesed with lamb.
I went looking for a saddle (that's a cut not a ride) but I ended up with what the packer called a rear quarter; It was cheaper than a leg, but it looks like a leg to me. I chopped up the joint and made stock with the bones. I planned on making Shepherd's pie, so I fired up the search engines and got a couple of books from the library and looked for the perfect recipe. They all boiled down to this: Ground lamb, ketchup, peas, carrots and mashed potatoes. Yumm-o? I realized what I really wanted was a lamb stew, yes that's it, topped with mashed potatoes and browned in the broiler. With a nice stock, it's not too hard to make a stew.
I browned the lamb then removed it from the pot. Next I threw in some sliced onions and carrots let them saute for a few minutes then sprinkled over a bit of flour over the mixture and deglazed with beer. After the beer reduced, everything gets thrown in: Stock, tomatoes, garlic, seasonings, lamb. Set for stew.
For the topping I made what the pros call Duchesse Potatoes. They are potatoes that you mash add a little butter and some eggs. Then using a pastry bag, The potatoes are piped into whatever shape you want. So I put my stew into a casserole topped it with potato and browned it in the oven.
Stew is good but sausage is good and fun. I started thinking about all the ingredients for Shepherd's Pie in a link.
I put together the spices and I got grinding. I did a ratio of fifty percent potato to lamb and twenty-five percent onion to lamb. Also like the stew I added a wee bit of beer.
I had planned on using Guinness, but I forgot to get some, so I ended up using something even better: Home brewed pale ale, made in Beverly by me friend John. Now I have the sausage, I just have to find a party.
St Patrick's Day in Chicago.
On Saturday we went downtown so the boys could see the Chicago river change from dark green to bright Irish green.
Then Sunday we went up to Beverly for the South Side Irish parade. Corinne, John, Jack and Will hosted an open house. We had corned beef, cole slaw, shepherd's pie sausages and more basement brewed ales.
What a weekend, and nice weather to boot. I'd give you a recipe for the Shepherd's Pie Sausage, but I forgot to write it down. I'll make it again soon. In the meantime enjoy St. Patrick's Day, the green means Spring is coming.