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Best of three: Sausages and mash

What's not to love about this most British of dishes? You can't go wrong. Or can you? Here are three we tried in the last week in city centre restaurants

Published on January 14th 2010.


Best of three: Sausages and mash

SAUSAGES and mash. Easy, eh? Supremely comforting and easy to eat. Easy to make too. You get sausages, you grill them, or fry them, or roast them. A banger is a banger. Right?

Mash, even easier. Boil some spuds, when they are cooked, smash them all to bits with some butter. So how did this completely random selection do in our taste test?

Ha Ha Bar and Canteen, Albert Dock, L3. 0151 707 7877

Cumberland Sausage and Champ Mash in Onion Gravy, £7.95

The bangers: Two large sausages, not a bad meat content but so highly seasoned (for that read salty) that our taster was gasping for water. Tough outer skins which were burned to black on the underside.

The mash: An inviting looking bed of mash flecked with spring onion here and there. The reality was somewhat different. Not only was the mash lacking in flavour, but it was lumpy. The consistency of the spud ranged from cooked in places to undercooked in others.

The gravy: A deep pool of dark red wine gravy, very thin, on which sat a slick of oil and then the mash and then the bangers on top. Some onion slices in there. Plenty of red wine flavour, although more suited to a beef dish than pork sausages.

Overall: 2/10 (would have been 3/10 but for the 45 minute wait): The weakest links.

Restaurant Bar and Grill, Brunswick Street, L2. 0151 236 6703

Free Range Gloucester Old Spot Sausages With Mashed Potatoes and Onion Gravy, £10.45

The bangers: Big and meaty from rare breed pigs and good on the conscience if you only eat outdoor reared pork. Pleasant, spicy flavour, good proportion of pork in the sausage mix and casings so tender you would barely know they were there.

The mash: Perfectly smooth and buttery with a good flavour. What else is there to say?

The gravy: Rich, dark and full of depth with well cooked slices of onion here and there.

Overall: 8.5/10: Gloucester old spot-on.

**WINNER**

Delifonseca, 12 Stanley Street, Liverpool 2. 0151 255 0808

Sausages and Colcannon Mash with Cains Raisin Beer Gravy, £7.95

The bangers: Supplied by a butcher in North Wales “after extensive searching” according to chef Martin Cooper, this trio was cooked to perfection. Tasty and gently spiced with just the right balance of minced pork.

The mash: Seriously moreish colcannon, so just as well there was a lot of it. Double the volume of leek and savoy cabbage to the potato which was all whipped up in a gorgeous, buttery cloud.

The gravy: A tasty twist with the Cain's Raisin beer, the thick onion gravy worked so well that our taster had to stop themselves from licking the plate.

Overall score: 9.5/10. Comfort zoned.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

WappingMay 6th 2008.

Looking at the top two I wonder why they serve it in bowls, is it baby food? Or soup? As for Martin Cooper, he is a legend.

Manesty S. LaneMay 6th 2008.

I have only had top-notch nosh at Delifonseca, wafted in with swift, courteous service and friendly staff. The chef even popped out to say hello when I mentioned to the waitress how his Pastrami-on-Rye was voted top in town by reviewers on Liverpool Confidential. The place is mercifully free of footballers, soap “actors” and other narcissist deadbeats, though the keeper of a shop popular with the so-called ‘W.a.G.s” seems to dine there every day (but in a quiet and dignified manner).

mr kMay 6th 2008.

local firm lockwoods make really nice sausages i can recomend their olympia sos,made from lancashire pork. They also make the best black pud i have ever tasted. The firm is very well established over many years and has an excellent record and standards

BarryMay 6th 2008.

Good sausage and mash at Hamiltons in the Met Quarter. The gravy is just right.

WappingMay 6th 2008.

If you're happy eating cash and carry sausage with instant mash and chemical gravy it will look expensive. But if you want tasty meaty sausages, cooked properly with potatoes which have a flavour, served with proper gravy that's never seen a granule presented properly in agreeable surroundings then £8.95 is very fair. Not sure where HaHa Bar fits into this though :-/

Matthew Street FestivalMay 6th 2008.

I was a long time fan of Martin Cooper's when he ran the Armadillo, although there was no sausages and mash then. However I did eat my first ever Tarte taitn in there when he was doing posh french food. I didn't realise he was still cooking. A Liverpool legend keeps the faith!

Doctor PepperMay 6th 2008.

Depends where you go. I've had a lot of **** steak and chips in Liverpool, and all of it over £15 and all of it in places that can only talk the talk

AnonymousMay 6th 2008.

You should try the sausage and mash at Room in Castle Street. MMMM! My favourite!!

Banger FurmunnyMay 6th 2008.

On the back of this glowing review for Delifonseca's meaty treats I paid a visit on Saturday afternoon. Lovely place, well decked out in contemporary wood and them nice chrome-and-leather chairs that don't look comfy but are. First thing I noticed was the quality of the staff - real friendly bunch, accommodating and as tasty as an Old Spot meat parcel perfectly burnished. Jasmine tea all round, my mate had the pastrami on rye and I succumbed to the delights of a trio of firm snags on a bed of colcannon. Both, we were told by the cute server, award winners. And neither disappointed - colcannon as good as any you'll taste in Galway Bay and the pastrami and rye wouldn't have looked or tasted out of place in NYC's finest delis. Gotta slap the Cooperman on the back for giving Liverpool ANOTHER great, casual, dining experience that it can be rightly proud of. Mucho recommended.

GrahamMay 6th 2008.

You guys pay WHAT for sausage and mash. What on earth does a steak cost?

AnonymousMay 6th 2008.

john lewis sausage mash, and lamb chop and mash worst in the world tough sausasge and lamb usually cold gravy made with granules and instant mashed potatoes out of packet for only 7.00 would pay half that

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