BANGERS AND MASH, Y’ALL!
A couple of weeks ago, one of the co-owners of West Asheville’s Barleycorn Pub (697 Haywood Rd) contacted me and asked if I’d come do some promo work for them. It had been over a year since I’d been to Barleycorn, so as is my policy, I had to make sure the food is still really fucking awesome before I signed-on for the job! I went for brunch, and One bacon wrapped meatloaf sandwich later… yeah, Man! It’s still fucking awesome. I’ve only eaten at The Barleycorn 5 times so far, but the food, service, and atmosphere have been excellent each time, so I feel great about working for them.
Step one: They made me an admin of their long-defunct Instagram page, this is my first post for them from my brunch with Good Friend Leslie…
Step two: I recently made arrangements with Co-owners Chef Greg Campbell, and brother Jon, as well as front of the house manager Marcy Carter, to visit the restaurant during off-hours, and be in the kitchen to video the prep and plating of a traditional British meal: Bangers and Mash, given the B-corn twist. On the menu, they are called Bangers and Colcannon, which I learned from Chef Greg is an Irish term for mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage.
I also learned:
• Bangers are a kind of sausage popular in Britain that are about 50% breading. Chef Greg has his bangers made here in North Carolina!
• Boiled potatoes can be baked-off for a few mins before mashing them, in order to reduce water content, and eliminate any “gummy” texture.
• A pinch of nutmeg added to mashed potatoes enhances the flavor, yet does not give them a nut-meggy taste. Nice!
• I love bangers and colcannon! Ain’t no other way to put it: this stuff is fucking goood! I ate three bangers and a put a pretty good dent in the mountain of mashed potatoes, sauteed cabbage, deep-fried leeks, and heapin’ helpin’ of beautiful Barleycorn bacon jam. Barleycorn has thee most insane bacon jam in Asheville.
I chowed down those bangers like a ravenous British zombie. You know, like the fast kind from 28 Days / Weeks Later? Holy fuck, they were SO yummy, I stuffed myself in about 15 minutes flat. See for yourself. Below are some videos and captions that I originally posted on my Stu Helm: Food Fan FaceBook page on Friday, January 8, 2016, and now they live on YouTube…
I’m in West Asheville at The Barleycorn pub! I’m about to talk to Chef Greg Campbell and Marcy Carter, and the chef is gonna make me some Bangers and Mash!!! Yom.
Watch me make a complete ass of myself in this next video at The Barleycorn. Luckily, Marcy is there to help me out.
Here’s video number three from The Barleycorn today. This time I’m in the kitchen with Chef Greg and he explains what Bangers and Mash is, and let’s us in on some of the “twists” he puts on this British classic. Can you say deep-fried leeks? Yum!!!
I ain’t winnin’ no camera man of the year awards for this next video from the kitchen at The Barleycorn, but chef Greg whips up some amazing mashed potatoes, and plates my bangers and colcannon while the bangers are still sizzlin’!
Final video from The Barleycorn today. I tuck into the bangers and colcannon, and have a hard time suppressing the blue steak of swear words that I wanted to use to describe how frickin’ good it tastes. For reals. These bangers is bangin’. True stories,Yo.
I’ll be doing more promos and such for Barleycorn, and of course, eating more of their amazing food, over the next few months. Stay tuned, because I’ll be passing any exciting stuff on to you guys. In the meantime, head on over the Barleycorn and try the food for yourselves. I think you’ll agree with me that the flavors are amazing, the space is comfy, and the staff is fun and friendly. Warning: It’s definitely a place for people who like to EAT… a lot… so bring your appetite, plus some.
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Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.