The art of the perfect banger

Gigi Perry 7 November 2013

How do you like yours? Sizzling hot and fresh from the pan? Encased in buttery puff pastry? Wrapped in salty bacon? I’m talking sausages. By that I mean the culinary sort, you dirty lot. The type you eat when in search of something to satiate that comfort food craving.

How better to fill this void than with the venerable sausage? From chorizo to Cumberland to cocktail: they boast endless possibilities and a staggering diversity to be admired. Then capitalised upon.

So what is the art of the perfect banger? If you’re after something to soak up those Long Island Iced Teas then look no further than the Gardies battered sausage. If daylight hours herald a similar pang, don’t forget The Hot Sausage Company, that frequents Sidney Street. From its charming hand-painted barrow you can instantly get your hands on some mighty meat in a respectable roll. Or if you’re after a banger with traditional trimmings then head down to The Punter, Pound Hill for their venison sausages and mash with caramelised onion gravy. Pub grub at its foodie finest.  

Making your own Bangers and Mash? Lets start with the sausage. A splendidly meaty banger is a must so go for the best your purse strings will allow. And none of this processed nonsense: you want course ground meat with thin, natural skins. Go pork and keep it traditional. To cook, frying in a heavy pan over a low heat, without pricking, is the only way to go. Sizzling.

Nothing beats the satisfying splosh of mash hitting cutlery. We’re not after a Michelin-style puree. Au contraire: embrace its charmingly flawed lumps and bumps. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper and you’ll be laughing. The only option as far as gravy is concerned is caramelised onion. Got soy sauce? Red wine? Balsamic? Bish bash bosh, give them a splosh. Any (or indeed, all) will do.

Keith Richards fries his bangers with onions and bacon before serving with pea-specked mash, gravy and HP sauce. Now we’re talking. If they’re good enough for Keith, they're good enough for the rest of us.