Forbidden fruit followed by bangers and mash…

It is hard to assess the wisdom of the proverb which counsels never looking a gift horse in the mouth as many a gift horse would benefit from a good buccal inspection. The concept is that we should be grateful for what we are given and that overly close inspection can cause offence. An unlabelled bottle of wine has nestled in our depleted wine rack for an unconscionable length of time owing to its lack of credentials. If being without a label is a disadvantage for mere store cupboard tinned goods then it is life threatening for a bottle of wine, particularly if that wine is from the bocage of the Vendée. Even the vagabonds of old, that lived by begging, dreaded their passage through the Vendée which had already built a reputation for producing frighteningly dreadful wines from their local, and now outlawed, Noa and Othello grapes. The Othello produces methanol on a level only found in absinthe and, as with absinthe, it was rumoured to drive one mad. The fact that “Britain has Talent”  even exists has already driven me mad so I was eager to draw the cork on this dark beauty whose only identity lay in the numbers 2002 figuring on the exposed end of the cork in the mouth of the bottle. The colour was deep and delicious and the “legs” suggested an unlikely alcohol level so I necked a couple glasses. Sadly, but not madly, I realised it was quite an ordinary glass but not one at which a vagabond would turn up his nose. The main effect of the methanol was to inspire me to make a very good supper of sausages, mashed potatoes and onions. Mashed potatoes need care in their creation. They not only need care but also the right ingredients and the right tools. First put the peeled potatoes, cut into manageable pieces, into cold salted water and bring them to the boil. Drain them in a colander when cooked and pass them through a potato ricer. Now is the time to add butter, salt, white pepper, an egg and enough creme fraiche and milk to create a creamy smooth ambrosia. Goes very well with forbidden grapes.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Cream, Digital photography, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, grapes, Mashed potatoes, Methanol, Noa grape, Othello grape, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Recipes, Vendee, Wine, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Forbidden fruit followed by bangers and mash…

  1. Now: that looks gorgeous…

  2. Roger, you are making me hungry…and thirsty! Bangers and mash are a great dish. I need to work in my mash, though. Egg and creme fraiche, most interesting!

  3. ....RaeDi says:

    Everything has a time and a reason… the wine has help to create a beautiful dish… the photos are incredible! I love potatoes and these sound delicious!

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Now this is what bangers & mash are supposed look like! This dish can be simply made but when care is taken — like the way you prepared the potatoes — it can be so much better than its parts. My first meal in London, far too many years ago, was a lunch of bangers & mash. They remain a favorite.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    What fantastic mash – it reminded me of the giant saucepan of mash that Philippe Noiret makes in La Grande Bouffe 😉

  6. Michelle says:

    Bangers & mash has never looked so good. That’s interesting—we often use crème fraîche in mashed potatoes, but haven’t tried an egg. Given that they’re on hand again via our new chickens, we’ll have to try throwing one in. And the “forbidden grapes” sound interesting too!

  7. emmycooks says:

    An egg! I love mashed potatoes and suspect that this suggestion is going to take mine to new heights.

  8. Fantastic work Roger, I have just written a post on how hard it is to capture a beautiful image of a meal such as Bangers and mash, and here it is, the perfect picture. As usual your posts are truly inspiring.
    Many thanks.

  9. It looks wonderful, of course, and reminds me of mashed potatoes in Wales – I usually prefer a more Mediterranean version with olive oil, but this has me tempted to try northern ways from time to time! The wine was worth the risk!

  10. Perfectly simple and simply perfect Roger!

  11. Tandy says:

    I have to try the egg addition in my mash!

  12. Graham says:

    Can’t help thinking Edgar Degas’ couple would have looked a lot happier with a plate of this in front of them.

  13. Oh, so that’s what bangers and mash should look like. I’ve heard of it before, but never actually seen it. It looks delicious!

  14. spree says:

    You’ve taught me more than a thing or two (at least three) on properly mashed potatoes Roger. I can barely wait to put it to practice! Thank you!

  15. ceciliag says:

    i am a firm believer in bangers and mash as the most comfortable of comfort foods, especially when ones waking moments are overrun with wakeful thoughts and the wine was just quaffable. All is not lost when you can wrap your laughing gear around a good solid feed of bangers and steaming hot mashed spud. I would love to have some decent sausages here though, they are just not up to standard. take care.. celi

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