IF YOU’RE hosting or attending a Bonfire Night or fireworks display this year, the key is to prepare some food that will instantly warm you up, but will also feel like a bit of a treat.
The best recipes to prepare on Bonfire Night are those you can pop in the oven so they’re waiting for you the moment you step back into the warmth of your house. Sometimes, you just can’t beat a classic dish, and sausage and mash, for me, makes the perfect Bonfire Night treat to keep the whole family happy. One-pot wonders like casseroles, stews or chunky soups are also ideal for serving in bowls and taking outside with you, or returning to the warmth of the house to enjoy and banish the cold.
We make our own quality sausages at The Scran & Scallie using fresh, local ingredients, and we create different varieties depending on what’s bang in season at the time. If you’re buying sausages, I highly recommend you visit your local butcher so you can be confident you’re enjoying good, quality meat. The taste of butcher-bought sausages is far superior to those you’ll find in supermarkets. I would recommend local Stockbridge butcher George Bower. They make their own sausages so you know what you’re buying is fresh and flavoursome. They’ve been serving the local area with quality meat and game for over 50 years so the knowledge and expertise of their teams are exceptional. They offer a massive range of sausages, from traditional pork or beef, to wild boar and apple, or venison. It’s worth thinking about picking up a range of sausages so there’s something to suit everyone’s taste.
Bonfire Night wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat, and a tradition for the Kitchin family is homemade fudge, which we sometimes serve with hot chocolate, to finish the evening. Fudge is easier to make than you might think and doesn’t take that long. Good fudge should have a lovely soft, creamy consistency. You can even add different flavours like cocoa, nuts or caramel if you like.
If our boys are lucky, we’ll let them sneak a piece in their pockets to enjoy while we all watch the fireworks.
Sausages, mashed potatoes with shallot and parsley marmalade
8 quality sausages from your local butchers
For the mashed potatoes
5 or 6 large baking potatoes
300g rock salt
salt and pepper
For the shallot and parsley marmalade
12 shallots, peeled and sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250ml white wine
1 tbsp grain mustard
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Mashed potatoes method
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Scrub the potatoes well. Pour the salt on to a baking tray and lay the potatoes on top. Bake for 1½ hours or until the skins are crisp and the flesh soft.
While the potatoes are still hot, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Warm the butter and milk in a pan over medium heat.
Start to mash the potatoes and slowly add the milk and butter. Mix until very smooth and glossy, then season to taste. Serve immediately.
Shallot and parsley marmalade method
Heat a heavy-based saucepan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and sweat gently for 4-5 minutes.
Pour in half the white wine and reduce right down until dry, then repeat with the rest of the wine. On a medium heat, add the mustard and chopped parsley to the cooked shallots.
Heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Heat a heavy-based ovenproof pan and add a drizzle of oil. Once hot, add the sausages and cook, turning, for a few minutes to colour evenly.
Serve the sausages alongside the mashed potatoes and shallot and parsley marmalade.