I was standing in the crowd at The Depot in Baltimore watching Winifred and Virginia Twanger, known together as The Twanger Sisters perform. Standing next to me was Polly Punkneck from Jason and the Punknecks. She turned to me, leaned in, almost in a whisper, and said to me, “Wow, this is the kind of music that should be playing in every bar…everywhere.”
I couldn’t agree more. There’s something so agreeable and comforting listening to the beautiful harmonies that Winnie and Ginnie create. Watching the interplay, the smiles they share throughout their performance, it’s easy to see why they’re so embraced by so many different genres of the Baltimore music scene. Their music is hauntingly beautiful, often with dark content, like Zombie Pharoah, which they perform during the episode. They refer to it as obscure Americana.
When I reached out to the sisters about Supersonic Kitchen, I got back a resounding yes within minutes! I thought of what to prepare for them. It was right around St. Patrick’s Day, and I began thinking of ways to play with their name. “Twangers and Mash!” It sounded great. When I reached for my phone, I already had a text from my director. He told me the girls came up with none other than “Twangers and Mash”! Well, I guess that settled it.
What a fun day filming this one was. I had the pleasure of preparing Bangers and Mash for them in their kitchen, eating together, a little Q and A, and a beautifully intimate, living room performance. They even wrote a quick jingle on the spot for the episode promo. What a treat it was watching them work through that. I hope you have as much fun watching this episode as I had making it!
Here’s to music, here’s to food \m/ !!!
The Twanger Sisters
Bangers and Mash with Roasted Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes and Onion Gravy
2.5 lbs. potatoes, I like to use half red and half golden, love the texture
4 oz. unsalted butter, AKA ¼ cup butter, AKA 1 whole stick of butter!
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 oz. fresh minced chives, a tablespoon or two!
6 cloves unpeeled garlic, olive oil, and kosher salt
Sausages with Onion Gravy
2 lbs sausages, Cumberland sausage is traditional, but hard to find. Some good quality fresh Bratwurst will work great. Even some mild veal and garlic sausage. Try to stay away from Italian Sausage for this dish.
1 Tbl Olive Oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 Tbl unsalted butter
2 Tbl Flour
4 of 5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed, finely chopped
1/4 cup Red Wine. The rule here is something good you’ll want to drink the rest of with the meal. We used a Cabernet in the episode.
1 cup beef stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
A few sprigs of fresh flat Italian parsley, chopped
Place six unpeeled cloves of garlic in a square of aluminum foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with a touch of kosher salt. Wrap up ends of foil into one neat smaller square. Cook in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, open foil, and allow to rest for a few minutes until cool enough to handle.
Peel and quarter potatoes. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Actually, it’s quite ok to leave little bits of peel on the taters, it only adds to the texture and presentation. Place potatoes in large sauce pan, and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes, until pierced easily with fork. You don’t want them to be total mush, just a touch of firm.
While potatoes are boiling, heat butter, cream, 2 tsp kosher salt, and black pepper over low heat until butter is melted. Gently ‘pop’ the garlic out of their skins into the cream mixture. Stir well to combine ingredients, and keep warm until potatoes are done.
When potatoes are done, drain well, and return to pot. Using a hand held potato masher, start to lightly smash the potatoes as you slowly add the cream mixture to the potatoes. Start to more aggressively mash after all the cream is in. Stir, mash, combine. You want a smooth, creamy texture, with just a touch of chunkiness. Stir in chives.
Heat 1 Tbl. Olive oil in large oven proof skillet big enough to hold sausages. You can do this in batches if you don’t have a big enough skillet. You can also transfer to a casserole dish if you don’t have an oven proof skillet. Add the sausage to the hot skillet and allow to sear on one side. You want a nice crispy brown sear. Flip them over and place the skillet in the 350 oven. Cook the until an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 25-30 minutes.
When done, take skillet out of oven and place over medium heat. Remove sausages from skillet to a clean plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add butter to sausage dripping in skillet, along with sliced onions. Cook until onions are transparent and softened. Add flour and stir well for about a minutes until the grease and flour really bind together. Now we’re making gravy. Add wine, and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add beef stock, lower heat to medium low. Stir well. You’ll really start to see the gravy taking shape at this point. Cook for about ten minutes, until it’s thick and rich. Take a taste taste, and add some salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, mound a few heaps of mashed onto the middle of a plate. Place two sausage links on top of the mash. Top with hot onion gravy. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Pour a glass of leftover wine. This’ll make 4 to 6 servings, depending on how hungry and who you’re with. If it’s more than two, though, you’ll need some more wine!!!
Chef Jeremy Davis
Co-Producer, Camera, Editor
Photography by Rock N Roll Socialite