Maine Bangers and Champ

Posted on March 17, 2013  /   Posted in Cheryl Dishes

Celeriac, the homely, rough and knobby root is a delicious, underutilized vegetable in our cuisine. A coveted staple in France and the Netherlands, it’s creamy-white interior has a dense texture and a delicate, celery-like flavor. Plus it’s low in starch, and high in fiber, potassium and magnesium and a good source for Vitamins B6 and C.

To properly enjoy celeriac, first you will need to peel away the bumpy, soil-covered exterior with a good, sharp paring knife to reveal the interior white globe. Grated raw celeriac is a satisfying addition to a salad and cubed celeriac makes a delicious part of roasted roots. We love the light, buttery taste when cooked and mashed with our favorite spuds. I often prepare a large batch of mashed potato and celeriac and freeze the extra in jars. It makes for a quick potpie topping or as a part of the recipe for Maine Bangers and Champ.

The term “bangers” dates to the early 1900’s. Its usage became most prevalent during World War II when sausages were made with water and exploded during cooking. Today’s local, handcrafted sausages can be “bangers” too. I’ve had painful experiences of hot fat explosions from sausage cooking.

This recipe is easy and hearty, and surprisingly low in calories. You can be creative and vary the type and flavors of the sausages. This time of year, instead of scallions, I use leeks, cooking them with the potatoes. Sautéed mushrooms would be a savory addition also. In our house, anything “champed” or mashed with potatoes is satisfying comfort food.

Maine Bangers and Champ

Cheryl Wixson
No need to wait until Saint Patrick’s Day to enjoy Maine Bangers and Champ, a riff on a traditional Irish pub dish. Serve with green peas and a beer!
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the bangers:

  • 1 pound sausage links
  • 1 cup cider
  • 2 cups onions, coarsely chopped (about 2 large)
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced

For the champ:

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped celeriac (about 1 medium) (may omit, use more potato)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the bangers:

  • In a large fry pan, brown the sausages. Remove from pan. Add the onions and brown. Return the sausages to the pan, add the cider, and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the sausages are done, about 20 – 30 minutes. Add the apple slices and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Spoon the mixture over the champ.

For the champ:

  • Cook the potatoes and celeriac until soft in a pan of water. Drain the water. (Reserve for cooking later, makes a great stock for soup.) Add the butter, cream and chopped scallions. Mash. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.

Notes

Nutritional analysis per serving: 409 calories, 18 grams protein, 14 grams fat, (0 grams trans fat), 990 mg. sodium, 3.5 grams fiber.

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