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Michel Roux Jr on why you can't beat a banger - The Irish News
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Life

Michel Roux Jr on why you can't beat a banger

He may be a two-star Michelin chef but Michel Roux Jr is currently championing good old-fashioned bangers. He tells Ella Walker why you can't beat a good sausage

Pork and Leek Sausage Bourguignon

MICHEL Roux Jr. loves sausages – "It's as simple as that!" he says. "Even though I have got French heritage, I was born in England and brought up on the great British banger," explains the chef, who heads up his family's two-starred Michelin restaurant, Le Gavroche, in London.

His current go-to sausage recipe is definitely on the gourmet end of the banger spectrum though: a take on beef Bourguignon, it's pork sausages grilled and cooked like a stew in red wine sauce, and served with mashed potato.

In between cooking up a storm on the sausage front and leaving MasterChef: The Professionals in 2014, the 55-year-old has been braving budding cooks, ranging in age from nine to 12 years, in First Class Chefs on the Disney Channel UK.

"It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful," he says enthusiastically. "Having never worked with children on camera before, it was quite an experience, very heart-warming. And it was great to see them so passionate about food."

Were there any dramas?

"Loads and loads! They were working as teams, so sometimes they were best friends and, because they didn't always agree on how to cook a recipe, things could get very, very fraught – but they all made up in the end."

He's hopeful there will be a second season, but even if there isn't, his diary is already bulging over the next few months.

There's a Channel 4 series he's just finished filming called The Diner and he has big plans for another cook book.

A keen marathon runner (20 and counting), he has been out of action for a few months due to a problem with his calf muscles, but promises: "Next year I'll come back with a vengeance."

Aside from the obvious health benefits, he explains that mentally, running is "a great escape, and to be on my own, that's really nice. And then, because you burn off a lot of calories, you can eat whatever you want. Ha ha!"

Try one of these twists on a classic meal, including Michel Roux Jr's Bourguignon and wasabi recipes:

Pork and Leek Sausage Bourguignon

(Serves 4)

8 pork and leek sausages

12 button onions, peeled

12 button mushrooms

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

500ml strong red wine

500ml beef stock

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2tbsp butter

1tbsp plain flour

Salt and pepper

2tsp sugar

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

Parsley (optional)

Boil the wine with the thyme, bay leaf and sugar until reduced by half; pass through a sieve and set aside. Cook the onions in a saucepan until golden using all the butter, then add the flour and garlic and mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine and stock, bring to the boil, add the mushrooms and carrots.

Lightly grill the sausages until coloured but not cooked through. Add these to the red wine sauce and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Check the seasoning, sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and serve with either a creamy mashed potato or buttered new potatoes.

Wasabi Duchess Potato with Honey and Soy Glazed Sausage

(Serves 4)

3 baked potatoes, mashed

2tbsp butter

4 egg yolks

Salt

Wasabi paste to taste

6 pork sausages

1 red chilli

2tbsp honey

6tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

Take the mashed potato and, while still warm, beat in the butter, yolks and seasoning, adding as much wasabi as you like. Place this in a piping bag with a star nozzle; pipe on to a non-stick tray circles in the shape of doughnuts with a hole in the middle.

Take the skin off the sausages and shape the meat into four balls that fit into the hole of the doughnut. Bake in oven at 200C for 10 minutes. The sausage meat should be cooked and the potato golden.

Bring the honey, soy and lime juice to the boil and then simmer until sticky. Use this to glaze the sausage meat, then sprinkle thinly sliced chilli on top for a real kick.

Vietnamese Premium Sausage Sandwich

(Serves 4)

For the pickled carrot and radish:

1 large carrot

8 radishes

3tbsp rice wine vinegar

1tsp caster sugar

Salt

For the sausages:

2tsp sunflower oil

6 spicy sausages

1 lemongrass stick, chopped

2tbsp honey

1tbsp rice wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

For the sandwich:

1 baguette

4 tbsp mayonnaise

1/4 cucumber, finely sliced into ribbons

3-4 pickled jalapeno chillies, sliced

Large handful of coriander

Make the pickled carrot and radish. Finely chop the carrot into matchsticks. Slice the radish finely. Put in a bowl with the rice wine vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the sausages for 15-20 minutes until golden all over and cooked through. Stir the lemongrass into the bottom of the pan, followed by the honey and rice wine vinegar, season and toss the sausages in this glaze. Set aside.

Slice the baguette into four pieces then split each through the middle. Spread the base of each with one tablespoon of mayonnaise. Lay the cucumber on top. Slice the sausages in half lengthways and arrange on top, then scatter over the chillies.

Top with a spoonful of pickled carrot and radish and finish with the coriander. Drizzle the sticky glaze left in the pan over each banh mi (sandwich) and serve.

:: November 2-8 is British Sausage Week. See michelroux.co.uk.

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