January 11, 2013

British Dinner: Bangers & Mash with Shredded Brussels

Chris loves themed dinners, so much so that he'll eat things he doesn't like in order to keep with the theme.  For example, mister high protein/low carb is willing to eat potatoes.  Tonight the theme was British and yes, that's two weekends in a row :)

It all started when I told him I wanted to watch Sense & Sensibility because we're seeing the play tomorrow.  He told me he'd watch the movie with me, if we could have bangers & mash for dinner.  I love Elise's recipe for mashed potatoes, so that was an easy sell.

This is where a photo of our dinner should appear, however bangers & mash doesn't photograph well and sausages aren't exactly friendly on a vegetarian blog, so use your imagination :)  Instead I'll share a photo of happy hour at the Kuckleburg house on a Friday night before a British themed dinner.
While British cuisine doesn't rank at the top of my list of favorites, I really like Jamie Oliver's most recent cookbook called Jamie Oliver's Great Britain.

We lived in England for two years and reading through it brought back many fond memories.  I currently have a copy from the library and would like to buy it for my bookshelf.

We quickly decided on bangers & mash, but weren't sure what vegetable we should have with it.  I scanned the index of Jamie's book to see which vegetables are common in British recipes and here's what I found...

Asparagus, beetroots, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, celery root, cucumbers, fennel, parnsips, peas, potatoes (the largest number of recipes), rutabaga, sweet potatoes, turnips.

I didn't really notice while living there, but root vegetables are really popular.  Presumably because the climate makes it difficult to grow other types of vegetables.  After looking through the various options, I decided to make "Tasty Shredded Brussels."

My final result looks a little different than Jamie's because I omitted Cumberland sausage from the recipe and added dried cranberries, which is a Christmas variation that he suggests.

Chris and I both really like roasted brussels sprouts so I was leery of preparing them a new way, but we both loved Jamie's recipe and I would definitely make it again.
Tonight was also my first time using the slicing attachment for my food processor.  I was amazed at how quickly and easily I could slice both onions and brussels sprouts!  I was at little unclear as to why I wouldn't use the shredding attachment to make shredded brussels but I trust Jamie :)
In the tea swap this past weekend, Molly shared a tea that her parents brought all the way from England when they recently moved back to the States.

I really liked Twinings Royal Wedding blend which was the perfect end to our British dinner.  It's a white Earl Grey tea with a light rose flavor, and it's a shame that it's no longer available. 

Shredded Brussels
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 pound of brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • In a food processor, slice peeled onion, using the thin slicing attachment. Then, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and thyme, cooking for 8 minutes and stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, run the brussels sprouts through the same slicing attachment in your food processor. Set aside.
  • Add honey and vinegar to the onions, cooking for 2 minutes. Next add sliced brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Pour in 2/3 cup water, then cover with lid and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Next add cranberries, stir together and cook an additional 5 minutes or "until the brussels are tender and a pleasure to eat" as Jamie Oliver says :)
Recipe adapted from: Jamie Oliver's Great Britain
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  1. Looks like you had fun! Next time you get up to Door County, you'll have to stop into the British Shop in Egg Harbor.

    1. Thanks for the reminder! I've heard about that place and have been meaning to visit, but somehow I always forget by the time I make it up to Door County.

  2. What a great way to enjoy the Royal Wedding tea :) And I second Inger on the British shop! We stop there everytime we go up--love it!