Cooking with Tan Chef Tan Mackay

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Chef Tan Cooking with Tan

Home    Introduction    Basics 

Recipes    Contact


Cooking with Tan

Home    Introduction    Basics 

Recipes    Contact

Basics for the Novice Cook

Getting Started

First dish I’ve chosen a recipe that is easy enough for a first attempt at cooking.......

Bangers and mash with onion gravy !

I’ve listed the ingredients (your shopping list) and I’ve also provided quite detailed instructions.

The recipe will feed 4 people. It will take you about 20 minutes to prepare. Cooking time is 40 - 45 minutes.

If you’re cooking for a smaller number, reduce the portion size of peas accordingly. Any excess mashed potato can be frozen, as can the sausages and gravy.

You will need; A large saucepan for the potatoes, a saucepan for the gravy, a non-stick baking tin for the sausages, a colander, a heatproof jug, a microwaveablel bowl and a roll of cling film.

The food ingredients are:

Pork sausages: x 12 (3 ea)
Potatoes (white): 1.25Kg
Large onions: x 2
Water: 750ml
Frozen peas: 80g per person
Beef gravy granuals: 5 TBS
Rapeseed Oil: 2 TBS
Butter: knob
Salt and White Pepper for seasoning


Follow the instructions in the order given:

  1. Set the oven to 180 degrees centigrade (170 fan, Gas mark 5).

  2. Peel the potatoes then, using a sharp knife, cut them into chunks of around 4cm so that they are all similar sizes and therefore will cook in around the same amount of time. Typically, some potatoes will be cut in half, some in three pieces and the larger ones in four, while the smallest potatoes can go in whole. Rinse the potatoes in clean cold water and transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with clean cold water and put to one side.

  3. Place the sausages into a non stick baking tin (using scissors or a sharp knife to separate the sausages if required). Drizzle over two tablespoons of rapeseed oil and mix until the sausages are lightly coated. Do not prick the sausages. Place the tin in the oven on a high shelf. (The sausages will take in the region of 45 minutes to cook so you may want to take a note of the time).

  4. Remove the outer skin from the onions and cut laterally into discs about 8mm thick. Discard the ends ie the shoot and root. Boil the onion discs in a small saucepan with 750ml (or a little more) of water. Once boiled, the heat can be turned down to a minimum so that the onions simmer.

  5. Place the saucepan of potatoes on the hob and turn up the heat. Depending on the hob and the quantity of potatoes, the saucepan may take 8 – 15 minutes to boil. When the saucepan is boiling add a generous amount of salt (2 – 3 teaspoons), and reduce the heat to a gentle boil.

  6. After they’ve been in the oven for around 25 minutes check on the sausages. Each sausage should be turned over (preferably using tongs so that they aren’t damaged) ie so that the side that was in contact with the bottom of the tin is now facing upwards. If the sausages near the edges are colouring more than the sausages in the middle of the tin, swap them around.

  7. In a jug add the 5 heaped tablespoons of beef gravy granuals with 5 level tablespoons of fresh cold water. Stir and leave to one side.

  8. Pour the required quantity of peas (about 80g per serving), straight from the freezer, into a large enough microwaveable bowl. Add two tablespoons of water, cover with cling film and prick the film once or twice with a skewer. Leave to one side.

  9. Depending of the size of the chunks, after about 16 minutes of boiling the potatoes might be sufficiently cooked. Stick a fork into one of the potatoes. If the fork goes all the way through, the potatoes are cooked, if not they will require a little longer. Don’t over boil so that they become mushy, otherwise they will have absorbed too much water.

  10. When the potatoes are cooked, turn off the heat, and then immediately drain all the water from the saucepan. The water will be scalding hot, as will the escaping steam, so exercise care!

  11. Place the saucepan of potatoes on a sturdy worktop. Add a knob of butter and mash the contents until all the lumps have gone. If the contents are too hard to work, for example because the potatoes hadn’t cooked through and are a bit dry, a little milk can be added.

  12. When the mashing is complete, taste a little on the end of a fork and, if required, add white pepper and extra salt to the required taste and mix thoroughly. Put the lid back on the saucepan to keep the potatoes warm.

  13. If the onions aren't boiling, turn the heat up again until they are, and then turn the heat off. Using a colander, empty the liquor from the onions into the jug with the gravy paste from earlier, and stir. Add as much of the liquor to the jug as is needed to make the gravy to the required consistency. Discard any excess liquor, and return the onions and the gravy mix to the saucepan, and stir. Replace the lid on the saucepan to keep the gravy warm.

  14. The sausages should have been cooking for around 40 - 45 minutes now. Put the bowl of peas in the microwave oven for about two and a half minutes.

  15. Everything but the peas should now be about ready to serve: Scoop the mashed potato onto each plate. Add the sausages to the plates, alongside the potatoes. You’ve now got about one third of the plate covered with potato and one third with the sausages, and left room for the peas. Using a slotted spoon, ladle some onions over the mashed potato and sausages. Now pour as much as the gravy as required over the potatoes and sausages. Finally, when the peas are ready, add to the plates, serve and enjoy.


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