I love a great gourmet sausage, especially on a bed of garlic mashed potato! The vegetable medley is a delicious way to use up leftover veg and will vary according to what you have on hand. These ingredients are perfect to complement my personal favourite - AC Butchery's wonderful Duck, Orange & Pistachio sausages. I prefer to poach the sausages to preserve the flavour and succulence - any fats and juices released from the sausage during the cooking process will also infuse the veg flavours.
Ingredients For the Garlic Mash Approx 1 medium potato per person, or equivalent
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic
20-25g butter, more or less to taste
1 -2 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil, more or less to taste
Handful of fresh mint leaves (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Poached Sausage & Veg Medley 6-8 high quality gourmet sausages
1-2 garlic cloves
1 large purple onion (brown is also fine)
2 or 3 large ripe, juicy tomatoes
1 large zucchini
1 large capsicum, sliced lengthwise
1 bunch of broccolini, trimmed
Handful of fresh herbs to complement the flavour of the sausage - in this case I used basil, but oregano &/ or parsley also work well.
Approx 1/4 - 1/2 large eggplant, depending on taste, chopped into small cubes of about 1cm (optional)
100-200g fresh, washed spinach leaves (optional)
Method - Poached Sausage and Vegetable Medley
While the potatoes are boiling, wash & chop the vegetables & set aside. Meanwhile, bring about 1cm of cold water to the boil in a large wide, non-stick pan.
When the water is nearly boiling, add the sausages, taking care not to prick them & release the juices too early. After a few minutes, turn them, leave for a minute, then turn a few more times to ensure even cooking.
After about 5 minutes, as the water begins to reduce slightly, add the finely chopped onion & garlic. Stir through. If using eggplant, add this at the same time.
Sprinkle the vegetables with paprika & celery salt & stir to combine with the sausages.
Add the diced tomatoes, the chopped basil & seasoning. Stir through. There should still be enough liquid in the pan to keep from sticking - if not, gently prick some of the sausages once only to release some of the fat & juices.
By now the sausages should be close to cooked through. Reduce the heat slightly, let the medley bubble through for a few more minutes, then add the sliced zucchini & a dash more paprika.
Stir through to combine & ladle the sauce over the sausages. Add the capsicum strips.
Place the broccolini in a heat-proof bowl, approx 4cm high.
The potatoes should now be ready to mash - pour the boiling water from the potatoes over the broccolini, then prepare the mash as below, cover & set aside.
If using spinach, arrange the spinach leaves over the top of the sausage & veg medley when you're ready to serve & turn off the heat. The heat from the mashed potato & the sauce will wilt but not overcook the spinach.
Serve up the mashed potatoes in 4 bowls, place one or 2 sausages on the potato, then ladle the veg medley over the top. I love lots of liquid, especially soaked into the mashed potato, but serve more or less sauce according to individual preference.
Finally, arrange the broccolini on top - this will have cooked to al dente in the boiled potato water in the 2 minutes or so that it has taken to mash the potato & assemble the servings. You may also prefer to drain the broccolini & dress with a knob of butter & salt & pepper before serving - for this dish, I feel that there is already enough butter & seasoning in the other components, but again, this is down to personal taste.
Serve & eat immediately.
Method - Garlic Mashed Potaoes
Put on a pot of cold water to boil in a medium stainless steel pan. (Mashing process may scratch a non-stick pan).
While the water comes to the boil, wash & scrub potatoes & remove eyes & any discoloration. Most of the nutritional value of a potato is found just under the skin, so I prefer to cook potatoes with the skin on or very lightly scraped.
Cut the potato into small, even pieces - approx 2cm x 2cm
Peel & trim the garlic - Leave Whole.
Wash & pat dry the mint, discard the stalks & chop the leaves finely. Set aside.
When the water is close to boiling, immerse the diced potato & the garlic clove. Water level should be about 1cm above the potatoes.
Potatoes should be ready to mash in about 10 minutes but longer is fine & it's best to mash as close to serve as possible.
Test with a fork or a vegetable knife - the potatoes are ready when the knife slides in easily.
Turn off the heat, drain 90% of the boiling water over the broccolini, then add the butter, EV olive oil, the finely chopped mint leaves, salt & pepper.
Mash for at least a minute with a hand masher, scraping down the sides & thumping out all lumps. You can also use a food processor or electric whisk.
Add more olive oil for a smoother texture, or more butter for a creamier texture.
When all lumps have been pulverised, whisk through vigorously with a fork to give an extra fluffy texture. Cover until ready to serve, which should be as soon as possible.
This recipe is very versatile & the variations are unlimited, so have fun experimenting according to taste & what you may have available - eg stir in a Tbsp or 2 of yoghurt garlic dip, or try it with finely grated parmesan, or tahini, or basil pesto, or swap the mint with finely chopped parsley - but don't complicate with too many ingredients at once, just keep it simple. I also often do a potato/ kumara mash, using about half-half - this is better suited to a simpler dressing, like garlic, salt & pepper.