Bangers are Smashing

For the next week or so, the sound of fireworks filling the night sky will be a siren
to many pet lovers to draw the curtains and turn up the telly. Guy Fawkes aka ‘Guido’ and his conspirators failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament, might seem a strange event to celebrate, although I’ve heard mumblings (in a slightly tongue in cheek kind of way), that some people are really just honoring his effort to do away with the government. Avoiding any political biases I have to admit the enjoyment of partaking in the occasional banger myself, I refer of course to the kind that sizzle and pop in the frying pan rather than those which howl across the night time sky leaving a trail of litter in my garden.

Even if Bonfire Night isn’t your thing, November’s still a fabulous time to sample some of the delicious bangers available at Barnard Castle Farmers Market. The origins of the great British banger can be traced back to ancient times. Bangers have been part of our staple diet throughout the 19th century. Unlike today’s artisan array of pork, beef and even chicken sausages, those from the period of two world wars consisted of far less meat and more cereal and water causing them to pop and hiss when cooked- hence the word banger.

In Nigel Slater’s ‘Appetite’, he drools over the crucial dark oniony gravy that makes bangers and mash one of our favorite dishes. Nigel adds chopped mustard, juniper berries, chopped thyme, sage leaves and fennel seeds or anything else aniseedy to improve the lusciousness of his gravy.

What ever you do to spice up your gravy, the quality of the Barney Bangers will stand up to anything you throw at them. Beef, rare breed pork, chicken and even venison. Take a packet home, toss in the pan, a squirt of Cumbrian mustard and a homemade roll will be enough to make your bonfire night go with a, well…bang!

Don’t forget to make a note in your diary of our Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market Roadshow at Gainford Village Hall on Sunday 18th November 10am-4pm with live food presentations and local farmers’ market goodies.

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