This past Saturday, whilst doing our planning for meals in the week ahead, Tara threw me a suggestion. “How about Bangers and Mash?” She gave me a suggestion and I ran with it, although, truth be told, there wasn’t much running to be done.
I’ll admit my ignorance here. While I’ve had bangers before (at an Irish Pub where they served an English breakfast), and was aware of the general concept of “Bangers and Mash” (Sausage and Mashed potatoes), I never really gave it much thought beyond that point. I didn’t know if there was some special ingredient that had to be added, or even if I was supped to combine the Bangers and Mash together into a melange of pork and potatoes that somehow became popular amongst the folks of the British Isles.
So when I asked my Manager at work about the dish, she gave a bit of a chuckle. “No, it’s pretty much as it sounds. But you should get some brown sauce. Oh, and although I can’t recommend this, canned mushy peas are traditionally served with them.”
Mushy Peas? Canned? Oh lordy, what had I gotten myself into?
In the end, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to be that authentic. Canned peas are so bad they make the Baby Jesus cry. Canned mushy peas would have Mary call up the doctor and ask if the Baby Jesus was colic. I made the green beans in their stead.
I also was able to find Brown sauce without any difficulty. Redmond has a store called The British Pantry where one can find many imported British foodstuffs, including HP Brown Sauce. The best way to describe Brown Sauce is that it’s a less spicy A.1. Steak Sauce. It is also an item of great joy for some, and great sadness for others.
I also picked up some egg custard for desert, as well as three British Candy Bars that are uncommon here in the States. A Yorkie, a Turkish Delight, and a Curly Wurly.
Overall, the candy bars were the biggest winner of the night. While the bangers were okay, and it is likely that I will have them again, it was difficult to muster up any sort of passion for the meal. Bangers and Mash as a meal, seem to be the British equivalent of meatloaf here in the States. They can be good, and are appreciated by many, but it’s difficult to see anyone waxing poetic about either meal, or writing a song about them.
Brown sauce, on the other hand, is a different story entirely.
UPDDATED: Better terminology added