The Budget Smart Cook Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

My grandmother was from County Cork so when I see a recipe for an Irish dish, I always have to try it. One thing I’ve discovered with all these recipes is the majority of them use low cost items, but somehow they always end up tasting great.
People usually ask me if I serve corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, but my favorite dish is my own version of sausages and mashed potatoes. It’s easy to put together, easy on the budget, and I hope you’ll give it a try this St. Patrick’s Day. It serves 4

8 sausages, allow two sausages for each person and don’t choose the really thin breakfast type links. The bigger the better for this recipe. Or if you want to go the vegetarian route, I like the Boca brand Bratwurst.
2 cups of sliced onions
One tablespoon oil
One tablespoon low fat spread/margarine
Pinch of thyme
2 cups beef or vegetable stock
One tablespoon corn flour
2 pounds of potatoes, the Yukon Gold variety is excellent for this recipe
milk and low fat spread/margarine/butter
salt and pepper.

Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters. Place them in a saucepan and cover with water. Add salt to your liking and cook over a medium heat until they’re fork tender.

This next step can be done while the potatoes are cooking. In a frying pan, add both the oil and margarine. Add the onions, and a little salt and pepper and a pinch of thyme and let the onions caramelize over a medium heat. This will probably take about 15 to 20 minutes. When they’re ready put them on a plate and add the sausages to the leftover fat and cook until done and no longer pink.

Drain the potatoes, mash them and add milk and margarine to your liking and cover them so they keep warm while you finish making the dish.

Put the sausages on a plate and keep them warm. Return the onions to the frying pan and slowly add the beef or vegetable stock. Add some water to the corn flour and stir until it forms a paste. Slowly add this to the stock and bring to a boil, and keep heating it until the mixture thickens and then remove from the heat.

Place a heap of mashed potatoes in the middle of a plate and set the sausages over the top. Pour some of the onion gravy over both the sausages and potatoes. Repeat with the other three servings.

Sometimes I have leftover gravy that I’ll put in a dish on the table for people to help themselves during the meal.

If you want to serve vegetables with this I’ve found canned peas make a great side dish. Another one of my favorites is sliced carrots with just a sliver of low fat spread/butter melted over them and a dusting of parsley.

The Budget Savvy Cook Loves Potatoes
Potatoes don’t cost that much and they can really be glamorized to make any cheaper cut of meat or even a veggie burger seem like a million dollar meal. With mashed potatoes I’ve added things like carrots and parsnips. Some of my other favorites ‘add ins’ are Chile peppers or smoked paprika. And for baked potatoes one of my favorite topping is either blue or feta cheese and some of the Mrs. Dash chipotle seasoning.

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