Serve a rustic, hearty St. Patrick's Day dish

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St. Patrick's Day traditions in the United States run deep. We eat corned beef and cabbage, we drink green beer, and we shame our co-workers into wearing green sweaters to the office. If you're looking for a change of pace this year (except for the sweaters, which are mandatory), maybe a menu swap is in order.

The Culinary Institute of America's recipe for Bangers and Mash is a rustic, hearty dish that will easily earn its place among your holiday traditions. Creamy potatoes, homemade gravy, and sausage are classic comfort foods on the Emerald Isle, and this recipe helps you make every component from scratch.

You may be skeptical, but homemade sausage is incredibly easy to prepare. If you've ever made a meatloaf or meatball, you've basically made sausage.

The recipes we've included here call for the sausages to be stuffed into casings, which you can buy from your butcher, or even on the Internet. You can use a sausage stuffing machine or stand-mixer attachment to fill the casings or, if you don't mind a little hard work, you can even stuff the sausages by hand.

For a super simplified version, though, you can skip the casings entirely. Prepare the filling as written, then form it into patties that you can cook like a hamburger. You can also roll it into sausage link-shaped logs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them to help them firm up a bit, then remove the plastic and cook them like you would any other sausages.

The meat for your sausage will need to be finely ground, which you may be able to do at home if you have the right equipment. If not, you can ask your butcher to grind it for you.

Once you have your sausage squared away, it's all about the velvety buttermilk whipped potatoes and stout-onion gravy. Stouts, like Guinness, are bold and rich, with enough bitterness to help cut through the creaminess of the dish. You can use any beer — or even red wine — for the gravy, but for St. Patrick's Day, the Dublin-bred Guinness is almost a requirement. Just don't spill it on your green sweater.

Bangers and mash with buttermilk whipped potatoes and stout-onion gravy

Start to finish: 3 hours, 30 minutes (Active time: 2 hours)

Servings: 8

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 links sausage of either Duck Chorizo or Chicken Sausage (recipes follow)

2 cups cooked white beans

Stout-Onion Gravy (recipe follows)

Buttermilk Whipped Potatoes (recipe follows)

Fried Root Vegetable Chips (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly oil a grill or grill pan and heat to medium-high. Grill the sausages, turning occasionally, until they are browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to indirect heat or a 350-degree F oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the beans and about 1/4 cup of the stout gravy.

Serve the cooked sausages with the beans, whipped potatoes, stout gravy, and root vegetable chips.

Duck chorizo

Servings: Approximately 16

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup red wine

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

Meat from 1 1/2 pounds duck legs, skin removed

6 ounces pork belly, cubed

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

5 black peppercorns, cracked

3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

Lamb casings, as needed (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Place the wine in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the wine has reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

Heat the oil in a small saut pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant and softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the duck meat, pork belly, red pepper flakes, cumin, peppercorns, paprika, and salt. Add the cooled wine and garlic. Mix to coat the meat.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. Chill until the meat is nearly frozen, but not solid, about 1 hour.

Prepare an ice water bath and set aside.

Set the bowl of a stand mixer over the ice bath, and pass the chilled meat mixture through the 1/4-inch plate (small or medium) of a meat grinder into the bowl. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and use the paddle attachment to mix on low speed until the mixture is sticky, about 1 minute.

Take a small portion of the mixture and cook in a hot saute pan until cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more to the mixture, as needed.

Stuff the mixture into the casings, and twist to make 3-inch links, if desired. Alternately, divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form into patties. Refrigerate until needed.

Chicken sausage

Servings: Approximately 16

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound, 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed

8 ounces pork fatback, cubed

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cold water

Natural hog casings, as needed

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken thighs, fatback, salt, pepper, garlic, fennel, coriander, and red pepper flakes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. Chill until the meat is nearly frozen, but not solid, about 1 hour.

Prepare an ice water bath and set aside.

Set the bowl of a stand mixer over the ice bath, and pass the chilled meat mixture through the 1/4-inch die of a meat grinder into the bowl. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and use the paddle attachment to mix on low speed until the mixture is sticky, about 1 minute. Add the water and mix to combine, for 30 seconds.

Take a small portion of the mixture and cook in a hot saute pan until cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more to the mixture, as needed.

Stuff the mixture into the casings, and twist to make 3-inch links, if desired. Alternately, divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form into patties. Refrigerate until needed.

Buttermilk whipped potatoes

Servings: 8

INGREDIENTS:

4 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by about 3 inches. Add the salt, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork or skewer, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and shake off any excess water. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake until the potatoes are dried slightly, about 15 minutes.

Place the butter in a large bowl. Place a food mill on top of the bowl and process the potatoes through the mill. Alternately, use a potato ricer or masher to mash the potatoes until smooth.

Add the buttermilk and milk, stirring to combine. Season with salt, to taste.

Stout-onion gravy

Servings: 8

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup stout beer (Guinness)

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until the onions are golden and caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes more.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine. Cook until the flour is well-incorporated and the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes.

Add the beer and use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the gravy has thickened, for 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve warm until needed.

Root vegetable chips

Servings: 8

INGREDIENTS:

3 pounds assorted root vegetables, such as yuca, sweet potato, taro, salsify, or lotus

Vegetable oil, as needed for frying

Kosher salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Peel the root vegetables. Use a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or chef's knife to slice the vegetables as thinly as possible.

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with about 2 inches of oil. Heat over medium heat until a thermometer reads 350 degrees F.

Use a slotted spoon or gently lower the sliced vegetables into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer to a towel-lined tray and sprinkle with salt. Cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition information per serving of duck chorizo: 117 calories; 69 calories from fat; 8 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 37 mg cholesterol; 155 mg sodium; 0 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 9 g protein.

Nutrition information per serving of chicken sausage: 151 calories; 124 calories from fat; 14 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 35 mg cholesterol; 569 mg sodium; 0 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 6 g protein.

Nutrition information per serving of potatoes: 95 calories; 32 calories from fat; 4 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 255 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 2 g protein.

Nutrition information per serving of gravy: 53 calories; 27 calories from fat; 3 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mg cholesterol; 139 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 1 g protein.

Nutrition information per serving of chips: 302 calories; 34 calories from fat; 4 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 264 mg sodium; 65 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 2 g protein.

This article was provided to The Associated Press by The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.




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