Bangers and Mash

When I think about British cuisine the first thing that comes to my mind is Bangers and Mash. Don’t ask me why!

6 years ago I tried starting a Harry Potter book club with my friends and I remember making Bangers and Mash to serve everybody.

I was given The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook a while ago and I’ve enjoyed reading through it to discover more traditional British cuisine, but the first thing I made was the Bangers and Mash. I didn’t remember the onion gravy from my first experience with the meal, but it was probably my favorite part of our dinner!

The boys loved the sausages. Firecracker wouldn’t touch the mashed potatoes, though. If it’s not in French fry form – he won’t eat a potato… I served our bangers and mash with Brussels sprouts. We found a caterpillar on one of the sprouts and attempted to keep it as a pet. Yea, that lasted about a day – whether it died from lack of oxygen or being shaken by the toddler (picture Darla from Finding Nemo) I don’t know.

Bangers and Mash

Ingredients for bangers:

  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 C panko
  • 1 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • butter for frying

Ingredients for mash:

  • 3 russet potatoes, cubed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 C milk

Ingredients for gravy:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 C vegetable broth

Steps:

  1. Make the onion gravy: Cook the onions in butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes until the onions are golden. Stir in the flour until combined. Add the broth and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring often. Season to taste with S+P.
  2. Make the mash: Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Mash with butter and milk until creamy. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Make the bangers: Combine meat, egg yolks, panko, seasonings, and zest. Form into sausages. Fry bangers in the butter over medium-high heat, searing on all sides, and cooking until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.
  4. Serve the sausages atop the potatoes, finishing with the gravy.

*This recipe is adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook*

Bangers and Mash | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

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Treacle Tart

Happy Halloween week everyone!

If you’ve followed along with Sew You Think You Can Cook over the past three years (Thank you) you’ll know that I love having a theme for the week leading up to Halloween. If you’re new here, I hope you’ll be excited about this year’s theme and stick with me all week!

We’ve celebrated candy corn, ghosts, and homemade candy. This year, we’re exploring the wizarding world of Harry Potter!

halloween-themes-on-sew-you-think-you-can-cook

To some (okay, most) of my friends I’m the biggest Harry Potter fan they know. But in this worldwide web I’ve quickly discovered that I have menial fan status compared to many!

Growing up my closet doors were plastered with Harry Potter pictures. Photos from those page-a-day calendars, movie posters, newspaper articles, soundtrack CD jackets, birthday cards, movie tickets, etc. I went to every midnight movie release (dressed up as Hermione) beginning with Prisoner of Azkaban and never settled for only seeing it once. It became the norm for me to leave the movie theater at 2 in the morning feeling let down by the screen play’s adaptation to the books I’d so adored that I came to expect and accept it. Knowing that I’d simply have to “adjust” to the movie version and simply see it again!

I own two copies of each book (hardcover and soft) as well as the new illustrated version of The Sorcerer’s Stone. I have read each book more times than I can count and have the audio books on CD in my car on constant repeat. (I’m currently near the end of book 6 if anyone wants to listen along.) I’m also already looking forward to delving into The Cursed Child again, too.

hp-book-collection

For our 1 year anniversary 5 years ago (wow that makes me feel a little old) we went to Orlando to experience Harry’s world first hand. We returned the following year for my birthday, too. hp-collectiblesDuring that birthday trip I was chosen by Ollivander to get my own personal wand. (Minute 1:20 of this vacation video.) Unfortunately, I never got the chance to experience the Diagon Alley expansion having delivered Firecracker opening week and moving to Ohio less than two months later. We do have plans to explore California’s Hogsmede and Hogwarts soon, though!

My Ollivander’s wand joined my collection of Harry Potter collectibles including a replica of Hermione’s wand and Time Turner.

As you can see… I’m easily distracted when it comes to Harry Potter…

To kick off the week I’m starting with Harry’s favorite dessert: Treacle Tart.

Esther of Why’d You Eat That? has a beautiful post describing the history of treacle – I highly recommend you read it!

This dessert is sticky, sweet, and tart. I found myself doing a lot of recipe searching and found large discrepancies for the amount of bread crumbs used in the filling but always the one cup of golden syrup. Some recipes included ginger while some stuck with just lemon. The tart crust was also a recipe that varied, as was what to do with the topping. The only consistencies were the use of golden syrup and fresh (not packaged) breadcrumbs.

Treacle Tart | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com (2)

Treacle Tart

Ingredients for crust:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg, divided

Ingredients for filling:

  • 6 slices white bread
  • 1 C golden syrup
  • zest 1 lemon
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • pinch ground ginger

Steps:

  1. Make the crust: Put flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with the dough blade and pulse to mix. Add in the cold cubed butter a little at a time pulsing to create crumbs.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 C heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon juice. Pour into the food processor and blend until the dough comes together. Add up to another 1/4 C heavy cream one tablespoon at a time if needed.
  3. Divide dough into two disks, wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bread on a baking sheet. Toast 10-15 minutes. Remove crusts and pulse, in batches if needed, in a food process until small crumbs. (Do not fill processor bowl more than half way.)
  5. Roll out one disk of dough on a heavily floured surface. Brush off excess flour before transferring to a tart or pie pan. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Place golden syrup in a glass bowl over a double boiler. Heat until easily stirrable then add the bread crumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ginger.
  8. Brush the tart crust with egg white before pouring in the filling.
  9. If using a top crust, roll out the second disk of dough and cut strips. Brush with an egg wash mixture of egg yolk and 1 tbsp heavy cream and create a lattice top to the tart.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes until set. Allow tart to cool before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.

*This recipe is modified from Kathryn at http://www.instructables.com/id/Harry-Potters-Favorite-Treacle-Tart/?ALLSTEPS*

Treacle Tart | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

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Book Club Potluck Party

To go with a “back to school” vibe for our Recipe Club gathering I thought it would be fun to bring a dish inspired by a book.

I actually got the idea from my mom. My mom is in a book club and the members all take turns hosting. Whenever it’s my mom’s turn to host she comes to me for ideas – not that I read the books.

For my contribution I obviously had to go with a Harry Potter inspired dish! For my birthday one year I received The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and the time had come to break it out!

Cornish Pasties jumped out at me as the perfect option. The only problem was the time commitment required for preparation. Mainly because the weekend before we were going to be out of town visiting my brother. I decided on making the pasties before we left and freezing them. Then all I’d have to do on Recipe Club day would be to bake them. Unfortunately, my pastry dough was a big fail. I froze the filling to deal with when we returned from vacation. The “no time” solution was to put it in a pre-made pie crust and serve one big Cornish Pasty Pie. I’m happy to say this variation was still a success! Unfortunately it didn’t make for the prettiest entree as freezing the potatoes turned them brown, but the flavor and texture was still there.

Scroll past my recipe for a list of the other literary inspired recipes that completed our meal! (Yes, we actually had a complete meal this time, unlike our 5 ingredients or less potluck.)

This recipe makes 2 pies. You can freeze one of them for a later date.

Cornish Pasty Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chuck steak, finely diced
  • 2 Russet potatoes, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 frozen pie crust shells

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl combine beef, potatoes, carrots, and onion. Season liberally with S+P.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Thaw pie crust according to package directions, allowing 2 of them to flatten to be turned into the top of the pie.
  3. Fill two of the pie crusts with half of the Cornish pasty filling each. Top with the flattened pie crust and cut slits in the top. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake 1 hour. Uncover pies and bake another 5-10 minutes, until golden.

*This recipe is adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook*

Recipes Inspired by Literature | Sew You Think You Can CookHere are the other recipes brought to the book club potluck:

  • Pumpkin Juice (inspired by Harry Potter):
    http://foodinliterature.com/food-in-literature/2014/05/copycat-harry-potter-pumpkin-juice-recipe.html – with the following changes: 1/2 C apricot preserves instead of apricot nectar and none of the sugar.
  • Biscuits (inspired by Becoming Lady Lockwood):
    http://www.bhg.com/recipe/quickbreads/biscuits-supreme/
  • Ham & Cheese Quiche (inspired by Green Eggs and Ham): Beat 4 eggs with 1 C heavy cream and 1 C milk, season with S+P, pour into a baked pie crust; add feta cheese, diced ham, and chopped asparagus; top with shredded cheddar cheese; bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Aloo Matar (inspired by The Namesake)
  • Brockhall Badger Carrot Cakes (inspired by Redwall): Combine 3/4 C mashed potato with 6 oz grated carrot, 6 oz grated onion, 1/2 C bread crumbs, and 2 tsp fresh parsley; drop spoonfuls of the mixture into a frying pan with a little oil and cook on both sides for 3-4 minutes.
  • Layered Raspberry Yogurt Parfaits (inspired by The Cat in the Hat)
  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (inspired by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie): Beat 1/2 C + 6 tbsp butter with 3/4 C brown sugar and 1/2 C sugar; add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla; in a bowl whisk together 1 1/2 C flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and add to butter; mix in 3 C old-fashioned oats and 1 C chocolate chips; bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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