Garlicky Sweet Potato Crush with Sausages and Onion Gravy

On the menu:

Garlicky Butter Bean and Sweet Potato Crush with Baked Sausages and a Caramelized Onion Gravy – Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I completely forgot about British Sausage Week 2016 earlier this month. Gutted. Thankfully, every week can be sausage week.

The Brits and the Dutch both have a longstanding love affair with sausage and mash. “Bangers and Mash” for the Brits. “Stamppot met Worst” for the Dutch.

The Dutch favour a chunky mash. Traditionally floury potatoes are roughly mashed with vegetables such as kale, cabbage, carrot or endive. These quintessentially Dutch chunky mashes are known as “stamppot” and deserve a dedicated post another day.

Granny would sometimes bulk out her stamppot with beans and that’s exactly what I often do to this day. In fact, most of my mashes do not even get to see a potato. I’m forever playing around with combinations of beans and vegetables such as celeriac, parsnip, sweet potato, squash, carrots, spinach, broccoli or cauliflower.

Today’s incarnation is sweet potato and butter bean. The natural moisture in the sweet potato balances out the dryness of the beans, so you get that creamy richness that is the perfect foil for the sausages. No cream, milk or butter required, unless you’re so inclined.

I call this “a crush” rather than a mash, as I like this Dutch Stamppot-style with lots of texture. But you can go as smooth as you like, even ultra-smooth in a blender or food processor, as this mash does not go sticky and gluey when doing so like a potato one would. 

I wasn’t a sausage lover as a kid.  I’d refuse to eat them unless cut up into lashings of apple sauce. I since learned that had more to do with the type of sausage, rather than sausages in general. Mum served “fresh sausage” or “boereworst”, which is akin to the South African Boerewors. It’s still not my thing texture wise. But it was cheap and dad’s favourite, so we ate it a lot.

Also, mum would make the traditional “dimple” in the stamppot on the plate and spoon in the greasy pan juices left after frying the fatty sausages in margarine. Apologies to those that love that kind of thing, but not my bag, not then, not now.

I much prefer the British addition of a caramelized onion sauce or “gravy”. As long as not made with gravy granules, which to my mind is a rather bizarre British store cupboard staple, seeing making your own gravy is easy and delivers so much more.

My gravy does not use granules, flour or butter. Instead it’s thickened by pureeing half of the onions and reducing the stock.

Gravy i


Garlicky Sweet Potato and Butter Bean Crush (serves 4 – GF LC DF V Vg RSF)

There is no milk, cream or butter in this chunky mash. Its creaminess comes purely from the vegetables themselves. Of course you can be indulgent and add butter or cream if you wish.



4-6 sweet potatoes depending on size, washed and dried

2 x 400 gr tins butter beans, drained and rinsed

2-3 banana shallots (or small onions)

4 plump garlic cloves

enough vegetable stock to cover the beans


A little freshly grated nutmeg


Heat the oven to 200 C

Stab the sweet potatoes allover with a fork or toothpick to aid even cooking and place on a baking tray. Roast for 20-30 mins.  Add the unpeeled shallots and garlic cloves. Roast for another 20-30 mins, or until the everything is cooked. You may need to remove the garlic a little earlier so they don’t burn or disintegrate

Set aside until cool enough to handle. Then halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and scoop the flesh out of the skins into a bowl. Discard the skins.

Squeeze the shallots and garlic out of their skins into a mini food processor or blender and discard the skins.

Blend the shallots and garlic to a smooth puree with a little vegetable stock.

Heat the butter beans in enough stock to just cover. Drain, reserving the stock. Put back in the pan with 3-4 tbsp of the reserved stock, the sweet potato and the shallot-garlic puree to heat through, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Roughly mash. It’s up to you how smooth you go.  

If it’s too dry, add a little more of the reserved stock. Add S&P and nutmeg to taste.

Serve with eggs, a green vegetable medley, sausages, lamb shanks, a stew or anything that needs a mash to soak up juices. Also great as a topping for an oven bake.

Left over crush keeps a few days in the fridge. I’ve been known to have it for breakfast with some roast tomatoes and a fried egg on top

Sausages and Caramelized Onion gravy (serves 4 – GF LC DF RSF)


GF sweet potato and bean crush, sausages and onion gravy

The colour and depth of flavour of the gravy will depend on which stock you use and whether you opt for red or white wine, lager, ale or Guinness.

I used beef stock, ale, marmite and coconut palm sugar this time. Thus the deep-dark colour in the pics.

The sausages are baked in the oven, rather than fried.

You can of course make this vegetarian, by choosing vegetarian sausages and vegetable stock.


4-8 quality (GF) sausages, depending on size and appetite. I used Jolly Hog GF pork and caramelised onion, which are quite small, so served 3 pp

1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp coconut oil

2-3 onions, peeled, halved and sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed or finely chopped

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar, honey or maple syrup

1 tbsp balsamic or apple cider vinegar

A few sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary, or use dried

200 ml red or white wine, lager, ale or Guinness

400 ml vegetable, chicken or beef stock

1 tbsp English mustard powder or Dijon mustard

A few healthy shakes of Worcestershire sauce or 1 tsp yeast extract (Marmite or similar)

A little anchovy essence (optional)



Heat the oven to 200 C

Heat the coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins until translucent.

Add the garlic, sugar, vinegar, herbs and S&P. Stir, turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-20 mins or until the onions are nicely cooked and caramelized.

Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the wine, lager, ale or Guinness and reduce by half.

Blend 1/2 of the onions to a puree in a mini food processor or blender. Add back to the other onions and add the stock, mustard, Worcestershire sauce (or marmite) and anchovy essence, if using.

Cook over a medium heat until slightly thickened and reduced (approx. 20 mins). Check the seasoning.

Meanwhile, stab each sausage a few times with a toothpick to prevent them from exploding. Rub each with a little oil. Place on a baking tray and roast for 30-35 mins or until cooked and coloured. Turn them half-way through.

Serve the sausages with the crush and gravy. 

Any left over gravy will keep in the fridge for a few days or can be frozen. 

GF onion gravy and sweet potato bean crush


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