In praise of the English Banger

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In praise of the English Banger

Postby Jenise » Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:56 pm

Got banged for breakfast today. That is, I served 'English Bangers' that I bought in Canada, parboiled and then pan fried until the skin was crisp.

The first time I had them was ages ago on a British Airways flight to England which was to be my new home. Along with a broiled tomato half and some runny scrambled eggs, it was my first introduction to English breakfast and say what you will about airline food, I loved that sausage. Once there, at a welcome party of other expats, some Texan asked me in a tone that had e-gads written all over it, "Have you had the sausages yet? Thar's no meat in 'em!"

Well, I understand what he meant by that, but to my palate that's why they should be praised instead of pilloried. There IS a great deal of breading involved but that gives them a finer texture and provides a good canvas for the onion, herb and spice flavors typically added. Also, less meat means less fat--bangers are never greasy. Compared to American sausage, which I also like though I still favor the finer texture of the breadier ones like Jimmy Dean, I find bangers more complex and refined. While I lived in England I had them for breakfast several times a week, and from time to time I have craved them ever since.

So where am I going with this? Nowhere, really, it's just that I had a really great breakfast today and decided to give a boost to one of my favorite foods.
Last edited by Jenise on Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: In praise of the English Banger

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:22 pm

Jenise
And why not indeed. Sometimes the simplest foods can give immense pleasure.

We're lucky in Norwich to have a very good market stall selling various beautifully made sausages, with additions of such things as herbs/spices/beer/cider/olives. They do maybe 30 varieties including some african styled sausages.

Sausages form the base of one of our "easy meals" - sausage & bean casserole.
1) Chop sausage into bite size chunks (it's probably better to keep them whole, but this makes it easy to eat with just a fork or spoon). Fry in frying pan with a little oil and onions and perhaps some subtle spices (I use pepperberry, which is a native to australia and a wonderfully flexible ingredient)

2) When lightly browned, pop into a casserole dish with tinned chopped tomatoes & tinned mixed beans, plus anything else that suits (e.g. mushrooms, olives etc). Cook for 30-45 mins at about 180C

3) Serve with rice or rustic bread

The other favourite sausage dish is to make our own sausage patties from decent quality sausage meat mixed with chopped fennel (I generally also do another "experiment" alongside e.g with apple and spices or some such combination). It's fairly easy (albeit a little messy) and would be great as a starter recipe for kids who showed some interest in cooking. I generally do 2-3 times what we need and freeze the remainder and Michelle likes digging these out when I'm away from home.

regards

Ian
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Re: In praise of the English Banger

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:11 pm

I can't recall the occasoin where I first had a banger, but I know I didn't like it. So it was with reluctance that I ordered "Bangers and Mash" from the dinner menu at a local Irish pub and was astounded at how good they were. I suspect my first experience was some poor substitute, as they tasted like a cheap brat, and I don't like brats. I've ordered them a few times at the same place and love them (along with their corned beef and potato chowder). As they are generally not available in local meat markets, I downloaded a few recipes for bangers, but haven't tried to make them yet. One of these days...
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Re: In praise of the English Banger

Postby Peter May » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:54 am

Jenise wrote: parboiled


Parboiled? I'm astounded. In all my 50+ years I have never ever heard of anyone doing this to a banger.
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Re: In praise of the English Banger

Postby Jenise » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:24 am

Peter, I should have been clearer--the sausages were frozen to start with. Simmering them for a couple minutes thawed them lightly for more even cooking once in the skillet.
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