It’s Father’s Day in the UK this Sunday. Normally when I’m planning what to cook on Father’s Day, my thoughts turn to light, summery meals we can eat outside in the garden. Perhaps a barbecue? But the weather forecast for this weekend doesn’t look good. I heard on the radio that they’re expecting three months’ worth of rain to fall over the next three days. Splendid.
So my offering for a Father’s Day meal this Sunday might not be what you’d typically expect to be serving up in June, but it’s perfect comfort food guaranteed to put a smile on Dad’s face on a soggy, grey afternoon; followed perhaps by the chance to doze on the sofa in front of James Bond. Perfect.
This bangers and mash bake is simply a sausage casserole baked in the oven with buttery mashed potato on top, rather like a cottage pie. It’s very satisfying and, of course, very popular in our house. For this recipe, I’ve gone with peppers and green cabbage in the casserole but use whichever vegetables you fancy really; courgettes, carrots, swede and beans all work well.
It’s also a great dish to prepare in advance. Simply pop in the oven half an hour or so before you’re ready to eat. And the leftovers freeze really well too.
To cool dads the world over – Happy Father’s Day!
Bangers and mash bake
Serves 4 (two big, two small)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
6 good quality pork sausages
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp corn flour
750ml beef stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Good squeeze of tomato puree
Half green cabbage, shredded
Salt and pepper
1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
Splash of milk
50g Cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6.
Heat one tablespoonful of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over a moderate heat and brown the sausages. Remove to a warm dish.
Add the rest of the oil to the same pan and fry the onion until soft and golden. Throw in the red and green pepper and fry for a couple more minutes.
Return the sausages to the pan and stir in the corn flour. Cover with the beef stock, balsamic vinegar and a good dollop of puree and stir well.
Add the shredded cabbage and stir in. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for about 25 minutes to let the casserole thicken. Season to taste.
Meanwhile boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Add the butter, a splash of milk and salt and pepper to taste, and mash well.
In a large oven-proof dish, firstly arrange the sausages to make sure everyone gets a fair share in their helping.
Then add the rest of the casserole. Spoon over the mashed potato (it does help if the casserole has had a little time to cool first), and tidy up with a fork. Go wild and create fancy patterns with your fork while you’re at it. Lastly sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the mashed potato and cheese are beginning to brown on top and go crispy. Serve and enjoy!