With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Downton Abbey Downstairs Provisions

Friday, January 2, 2015

Downton Abbey Downstairs Provisions

Are you as excited as I about the new season of
Downton Abbey?
I am anticipating more adventures, interaction, situations and experiences with each of characters I love so much. 
I shared a post here about food the Crawley's might enjoy in their lavish upstairs dining area. But, what about the hard-working and diligent servants that keep the household running so smoothly (at lease most of the time)?
Dear Mrs. Patmore, who's bossiness is smoothed by her sweet, heart-of-gold, runs a tight kitchen. In addition to cooking and baking for the overseers of Downton Abbey and the many guests they entertain and parties they host, Mrs. Patmore is responsible for providing cost-effective yet hearty nourishment for the staff of this large estate.
Perhaps the organized Mrs. Patmore jots down a note each day listing a menu like this one that she plans to prepare and serve to the staff.
Getting ready each morning in the early hours before the family rises requires a hearty breakfast to provide the energy needed to accomplish ones responsibilities.  A hot tin of baked beans on toast hits the spot and fills those nutritional needs.
(Homemade Baked Beans recipe here)
This traditional English entree of mashed potatoes and sausage is delicious. Usually made with a brown gravy, this version gets added flavor and color from red onions and cranberries.

Pub Grub Bangers & Mash
with Cranberry Chutney
adapted from Jamie Oliver recipe
serves 2-3

4 medium russet potatoes, peeled (if desired) and cut into chunks.
Place in a pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and simmer, slightly covered with lid, for 20 minutes or until tender.  Drain. (I was surprised to see Ina Garten add Dijon mustard and whole-grain mustard to her mashed potatoes.  I was hesitant but gave it a try and really liked the results. If you want to as well, start with about 1 tsp. of both) 

Add butter (about 2-Tbs.), sour cream (about 1/4-cup) cream cheese (about 2-ounces) and warmed milk; season to taste with salt and pepper. Mash, adding milk until desired consistency.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the sausages in one layer on the baking rack. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the sausages are just cooked through.

1  red onions, cut into thin wedges
1/2  cup (or more) fresh or frozen (and thawed) cranberries
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 pork sausages (I used lean turkey sausages from butcher)
fresh sage, for garnish, if desired

Place sausage on foil-lined pan.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; add onions and saute for five minutes.  Add cranberries, cinnamon and a splash of water. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring until onions are soft and the chutney has reduced. Add ginger and balsamic; cook a minute or two more.

(if you find the chutney too tart, as I did, sprinkle in a bit of sugar as it simmers and reduces)

To serve:
Mound a generous portion of potatoes on plate and top with sausages that have been cut in half diagonally. Sprinkle with fresh sage and serve.
A pot of Split Pea Soup is not served to Lords and Ladies but is well received by staff especially on cold winter evenings after a long and tiring day.
{Split Pea Soup recipe found here}
A slightly sweet bread for tea or lunches is even better with honey butter.
{Sally Lunn Bread Recipe found here}
Dessert isn't often a part of the servants daily meal but on special occasions, a lovely Bilberry Apple Pie encourages the staff to be extra diligent and helpful to stay in Mrs. Patmore's good graces.

Is a bilberry different from a blueberry?

They are closely related but not the same. The bilberry is native to Europe including the British Isles, while the blueberry is native to North America. Bilberry also known by other names including blaeberry , ˈbleɪbɛri, whortleberry, ˈhwɜrtəlbɛri, (ground) hurts, whinberry, winberry, windberry, wimberry, myrtle blueberry and fraughan. 

Bilberries are found in very acidic, nutrient-poor soils throughout the temperate and subarctic regions of the world. They are closely related to North American wild and cultivated blueberries and huckleberries.

The fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry but with a fuller taste. Bilberries are darker in color, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of purple. While blueberry fruit pulp is light green in color, bilberry is red or purple.(source)

Blueberry {Bilberry} Apple Pie

Deep-dish* double crust (homemade or refrigerated)

7 cups tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 pint blueberries (fresh or frozen and slightly thawed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. butter, thinly sliced

1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. (if you prefer to see more blueberries through the lattice, keep a handful aside to scatter on top after the filling is spooned into the crust)

Place the bottom crust into a deep-dish pie pan.  Spoon the filling into the pie shell. Arrange butter slices evenly over filling.

Cut the top crust into 1-inch strips and weave into a lattice pattern on top of pie. Press edges of strips to bottom crust; turn extra dough under and crimp. Brush on egg wash and sprinkle pie with cinnamon sugar.

Place pie onto a foil-lined baking pan.  Place in preheated oven and bake 25 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue baking 45 minutes, or until filling juices begin to bubble through. Tent with foil if browning too quickly.

Cool on wire rack and serve at room temperature or refrigerate.

*I used a standard-size, refrigerated crust for this recipe and it worked just fine. Using a pizza cutter, I cut one of the crusts into 1-inch strips to make the lattice top. 


Susan said...

Hello Dear LDH....I'd like to see the whole Downton Abbey series.

You are such a dear blog friend. I appreciate your friendship soooo much. Susan

Lorrie said...

The Downton Abbey folks are almost like friends now, aren't they? We're all so interested in their lives.
Lovely food post.

Deb said...

I'll be snuggled up with a cat or two watching DA, too. Can't wait. That tea-bread looks so delicious and honey-butter sounds so good. Fact...I did not know Mrs. Patmore's first name was Beryl. Thanks for that. Enjoy the show, Lorraine. Deb

podso said...

This is a fun post! It's amazing its DA time again, seems like it just ended. How fast time flies!

Ann Thompson said...

I've never Downtown Abbey but all this food looks incredibly good

Gypsy Heart said...

I love Downton Abbey! Love this post! The food looks delish, however, I don't think I could eat the baked beans for breakfast. :)

Thanks so much for sharing...can't wait to see the new series!


Lea said...

Oh, you are going to love this season of Downton Abbey. I have already seen it off of the blog, www.SimplyJane.com. She downloads them to her blog after they are seen in Great Britian which is usually in Oct. I love getting to see them and then I watch my other PBS favorites. Great looking recipes!

Carol Z said...

I'm a Downton fan, too, and was so glad to see the new season start. Hope it won't be all gloom and doom.

Debby Ray said...

Oh what wonderful recipes! I think I would take Bangers and Mash any day over the food they eat upstairs! Did you happen to see the show on following the first episode on Sunday night called "The Manners of Downton Abbey"? It was an historial behind the scenes look at the aristocracy featuring many of the actors...very interesting AND informative. Great post, Lorraine!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a fun post! We are DA fans and would love to eat these great dishes with the staff. No upturned nose here :)

corners of my life said...

I also love Downton Abbey - every detail attended to - just imagine!

We recently enjoyed a meal of Pub Bangers and Mash at Epcot Center in Disney World. Best served with a flight of beer samples. Mmmmmm . . .

lindsey said...

I love Downton, Im not sure when we have a new season starting, Im guessing we are probably ahead of you seeing as its a British program, but I always look forward to is coming around. This sausage recipe looks amazing!


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