Eating sausages from the esteemed O’Shea’s butchers is like eating steak. Good steak, chopped up, mixed with some earthy ingredients and hearty herbs and put back together again. And why? Because that’s what their sausages are about. They are 100% top quality Black Angus beef from South West Ireland where the cattle has been grass fed, and Guinness, and that’s it. No rusk, just pure, delicious, honest ingredients.
The image above (sadly not my own but taken from their website) demonstrates some of the mouth watering cuts of meat you’re faced with when going into their friendly, warming butchers. O’Shea’s was established all the way back in 1789, and in the store in Knightsbridge, just past Harrods you’ll find the 8th generation of the O’Shea butchers who now provide free range, organic meat to a number of top chefs and restaurants, plus punters like me.
They are well known for their commitment to providing excellence, and are clearly proud of what they have to offer. Exploring the delectable meat counter O’Shea explained the origin of the sausages ingredients to me and told me how they were made without prompt. I really felt like he spoke to me in exactly the same way as the fellow behind me who bought a fillet of beef for ten people, despite him spending about eight times as much as me! Having had such a great experience I happily skipped home with eight of their specialty Guinness and Beef sausages.
Weirdly it was a cake which inspired me to try this new savory sausage recipe; my new new employer Konditor and Cook make a special ‘Black Velvet’ cupcake just once a year. It’s the kind of cupcake that has people calling to reserve them by the box-load days in advance of their release. What’s so special about this is that they’re a Guinness and Chocolate sponge topped with Irish cream frosting. Each one is light and fluffy in texture, with a deep and indulgent flavour, it’s an adults-only version of their ‘Curly Whirly’ vanilla bean frosting that’s been topped up with an Irish-sized glug of Baileys. Amazing.
Wanting to echo that celebrated combination of savory malty-ness and creamy vanilla I paired the sausages, which I was assured already had a whole pint of the Guinness in them (!) with a fluffy mash laced with, yes you guessed it, Baileys. The meal was completed with a few springs of tenderstem broccoli and soaked in onion gravy that came mostly from the Guiness which bubbled out of the meat as it cooked.
Cooking the sausages was easy, I just left them in the oven til the were cooked through, making sure to save any juice to make gravy. But to make the mash you don’t need a recipe, just boil and mash your spuds, saute some leeks with a mix of fresh herbs (I chose rosemary, thyme, sage and dried bay leaf) and combine with the tatties, throw in a spoon or two of wholegrain mustard and add baileys with your normal dose of butter. Salt will help tone down the sweetness and pepper will add a little kick. For the gravy, I sauteed red onions with sage and crushed garlic, added a pint of half chicken stock, half Guinness and left to simmer before adding the juices from the cooked sausages and sieving at serving.
The result was a scrumptious meal, just a little late for a proper St. Paddys day, and a little too heavy to be munched this close to spring, but altogether delicious. The meat really was the star of the show so if you find yourself in Knightsbridge it’s worth a visit to their shop to explore their range of cuts and oogle over the condiments, pies and sarnies. And if you ever need a pick me up in your mash I suggest Baileys!