I always think of October as a mystical month with crisp frosty mornings, clear starry nights and the smell of wood burning fireplaces being lit for the first time after summer. Of course the mystical part is mainly due to the excitement of Halloween where witches cackle, cauldrons boil and children’s screams of delight pierce through the night as they guise for treats.
In the meantime however, it’s back to reality and I am in need of some good old comfort food. Tonight will be dinner curled up on the sofa, blanket within reaching distance and the fire on. A perfect night for sausages with red wine, onion and thyme sauce and buttery mashed potatoes – definitely one of my top comfort meals guaranteed to warm me up and give me a huge big culinary hug.
Sausage and mash with red wine, onion & thyme sauce
4 good quality sausages of your choice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
250ml/ 1 cup red wine
1 bay leave
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbsp tomato puree or ketchup
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
Salt & pepper
125ml/ ½ cup beef stock
1 tbsp butter
For the mash:
Approx. 600g potatoes, peeled
1oz/ 30g butter
3-4 tbsp milk, warmed (I usually give it a quick blast in the microwave)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
Put the sausages on a baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes, turning half way through cooking.
Cut the potatoes into equal sized pieces and put in a large pan with a little salt. Cover and slowly bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender (roughly 20-25 minutes).
While the sausages and potatoes are cooking make the sauce. Heat the oil in a small pan then add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the wine. Bring to a simmer then add the bay leave, 2 of the thyme sprigs, tomato puree (or ketchup), sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes until it has reduced slightly then add the beef stock. Continue to simmer gently and if it starts to reduce too much, cover with a tight fitting lid (and you can always add an extra splash of wine or even water).
When the potatoes are tender drain well then return to the pan. Add the butter and a splash of the milk. Mash well and as needed add the remaining milk so that you have perfectly smooth and soft buttery mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, top the mashed potatoes with the sausages then spoon over lots of the delicious, rich sauce. Sprinkle over the leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme then sit back, relax and enjoy.