If you are going to cook some of those cumberland sausages you picked up from Myers of Keswick, I highly recommend you follow this recipe. I didn’t create this recipe myself – if you are going to cook some “proper” English pub food, you should consult an English chef. My favorite: Jamie Oliver, also known as the Naked Chef. He has never led me astray, and I own five of his cookbooks. This one I borrowed, with a few tweeks, from his cookbook “family dinners”. Every single time I make it I get rave reviews. True perfection would mean serving it with an Old Speckled Hen or Boddingtons…
1.5 lbs cumberland sausages
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
a bunch of fresh sage, leaves picked
a bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
5 medium potatoes (yukon golds work great)
1 1/4 cups milk
8 tbs butter
4 tbs freshly grated horseradish (this makes a big difference), or you can used jarred
3 medium red onions, peeled and finely sliced.
5 tbs balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 beef or chicken bouillon cubes (yes, Jamie recommends bouillon – I used some homemade beef stock, but I’ve made it both ways and you can’t go wrong)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Untwist sausage links and squeeze them though, rolling them in a tight circle. Tuck the sage leaves and garlic between the layers of sausage. You can run a couple of rosemary stocks through them to keep them together, or just let them be. Place on an oiled sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until crisp and golden. A few minutes before sausages are ready, throw a few sage leaves next to the sausage after drizzling in oil. They will become crispy and delicious.
Chop of potatoes. Boil them in salted water until cooked. Drain, add milk, 5 tbs butter, and horseradish. Keep warm at back of the stove.
Make onion gravy by frying onions very slowly in a little oil, covered, for about 15 minutes (until soft). Remove the lid, turn up the heat and brown the onions. Pour in vinegar and boil until it almost disappears.
Turn heat down, add 3 tbs butter, bouillon cubes, and 2 and a half cups water or same amount of stock. Simmer until you have a nice gravy consistency.
Serve sausages on top of potatoes and spoon onion gravy over the top. Scatter with crispy sage leaves. Eat. Then immediately return to Myers of Keswick for more sausages.