You may have heard of a recipe called bangers and mash, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. Or maybe you have seen it on the menu at your favorite Irish pub or British inspired restaurant.
This popular dish consists of large sausage links served with mashed potatoes and topped with a thick onion gravy. It is a comfort food recipe that is found in both Great Britain and Ireland, and during mid-March in restaurants across America.
So where did the term Bangers come from? The term supposedly originated during World War I, when there was a shortage of meat.
Therefore, sausages that were being made couldn’t have the quality ingredients that they once consisted of. Instead, they were made with a number of fillers, notably water, that caused them to explode when cooked.
Therefore, the term ‘bangers’ was established! It was because of the loud sound that they would make when they burst while in the oven.
Although, the term mash is much less appealing or interesting, they are still a staple in this recipe. Creamy mashed potatoes that made up the iconic side dish to the sausages.
So where does the thick onion gravy come into play? Because this is a classic comfort food recipe that contains mashed potatoes, it was thought that gravy must be included.
The caramelized onions adds a rich and interesting depth of flavor that no one can resist. Add in a little beef stock and red wine and you have a gravy recipe that you will want to make over and over again.
Although, if you truly want to make this an Irish inspired meal, add a little sautéed cabbage to the mix and a slice of Irish Soda Bread and your St. Patrick’s Day dinner is complete!
Bangers and Mash Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
- Pork sausage links, large, brat size links
- Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- Unsalted butter
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Unsalted butter
- Onions, chopped
- Beef broth
- Red wine
The first step in making Bangers and Mash is to preheat the oven to the lowest setting that will keep food warm, but not cook it. For my oven, I set it at 200°F.
Then place a skillet over medium-low heat and cook the sausages until browned on all sides and cooked through. For most full size sausage links this will take about 10-12 minutes.
Once the sausages are cooked through transfer them to an oven safe dish and place the dish in the preheated oven. This will keep the sausages warm while you prepare the potatoes and gravy.
Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add a little salt and place over medium-high heat.
Bring the water to a boil and decrease the heat to maintain a low boil. Cook the potatoes until fork tender, 10-12 minutes. *While the potatoes are boiling, start your oven gravy using the instructions below.
The actual cook time of the potatoes will depend on how large or how small you cut your potatoes. Smaller potato chunks will take less time to cook.
When the potatoes are fork tender, drain the water and keep the potatoes in the hot pot over low heat for 1-2 minutes. You will hear the pot sizzle indicating that the moisture left on the potatoes is steaming off.
This is an important step to do not only for this Bangers and Mash recipe, but any time that you make mashed potatoes. This will allow the excess moisture to escape from the potatoes, resulting in light and fluffy mashed potatoes. See: The Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe.
When the potatoes have been placed back in the hot pot for a couple of minutes, add in the butter, milk, salt, and black pepper to taste. Then use a potato masher until the potatoes are mashed and have turned into a smooth and fluffy mixture.
Cover the pot and set the mashed potatoes aside.
Onion Gravy Instructions
While the potatoes are boiling make the onion gravy. Start by melting 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in a skillet placed over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the sliced onions to the pan. Sauteé the onions until they become translucent and just starting to turn light brown.
Don’t rush this process by turning up the heat on the stove. The process of browning the onions will take about 8 minutes.
Once the onions are starting to turn a light golden brown in color, stir in the beef broth and red wine. Then increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat so that the liquid maintains a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid reduces by half. At this point the alcohol will have evaporated off, leaving you with a deep and flavorful sauce.
After about 10 minutes, you will see that the onion gravy has become thicker. Season the gravy with salt and black pepper to taste.
Now that everything is ready, it is time to serve this Bangers and Mash recipe to your family and friends. Start by placing a scoop of mashed potatoes on each plate.
Then place a sausage link or two on each plate, right next to the mashed potatoes. Pour the onion gravy over top of both the sausage and potatoes.
Serve immediately with a slice of Irish Soda Bread.
Other Irish Inspired Recipes
If you came here looking for a dinner recipe that you can make on St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few other of my favorites. And be sure to come back next week for our favorite Oven Roasted Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe!
- Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew
- Stove Top Irish Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie
- Instant Pot Bangers and Mash
- Corned Beef and Cabbage
Mary and Jim
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- 4 links pork sausage
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 6 cups beef broth
- 2 cups red wine
- Preheat oven to 200°F (95°C).
- Cook the sausages by placing a skillet over medium-low heat and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to an oven safe dish and place in the preheated oven to keep warm.
- Place the cubed potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add a little salt and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and maintain a low boil until the potatoes until tender, 10-15 minutes. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain the water and keep the potatoes in the pot over low heat for 1-2 minutes so the remaining moisture can steam off. Mix in 1/4 cup of butter, milk, salt, and black pepper and mash with a potato masher until fluffy and smooth. Cover and set aside.
- While the potatoes are boiling make the onion gravy. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onions until translucent and just starting to turn light brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beef broth and red wine and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let the liquid reduce by half, approximately 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- To serve, place scoop of mashed potatoes on each plate with a sausage link. Pour the onion gravy over top of both the sausage and potatoes.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 571Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 1819mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 15g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.