Yesterday it rained. I felt fortunate to be at home, balled up in a sweater, hands wrapped around a coffee mug as I worked and watched the day’s weather events unfold. Precipitation oscillated from heavy, drenching downpours to steady, spitting drizzles. There was a welcome chill in the air, howling gusts of wind, and as evening came on, a dense fog hung around the top of the high-rises in Manhattan. I couldn’t help but feel transported back in England.
At Andy’s request, we had planned to make sautéed fish with a citrus pan sauce for dinner, but on a night like that, fish felt far too summery. I needed something that would stick to our ribs, warm our insides. In my mind, there was only one thing to make. The British classic: Sausage and Mash with Peas and Gravy. My husband rejoiced.
There are two types of mashed potatoes. Fluffy, buttery spuds that are put through the rice mill until they resemble cumulonimbus cloud. They are delicate and light, pairing well with rack of lamb, pork medallions or anything else that is served on my Mom’s gold-rimmed china. While these spuds are positively delicious, I happen to prefer (if only slightly) the other kind, which are best with more rustic, hearty dishes like stews and pies. Red russet potatoes, boiled and coarsely smashed, to which I add chunks of butter, potato cooking liquid, kosher salt, cracked black pepper and sautéed leeks.
Those are the potatoes we had, with these rustic, gamey tasting sausages from Eli Zabar’s Vinegar Factory and frozen peas (sorry, there is no way to make those sound sexy). I felt wonderfully satiated in so many ways last night as Andy and I watched the rain lash the windows and enjoyed our first autumn meal. Delicious.