Sausage isn’t often on the menu around here, but there are exceptions. Once in a while I crave it on my pizza, and I have blogged a few tasty recipes that include it. They have included everything from American breakfast sausage to Portuguese linguiça to spicy Italian sausage. Today I’m going to try British bangers, with mashed potatoes of course! Actually, it’s Bangers and Mash with Stout & Onion Gravy, and the bangers are deconstructed or crumbled in this version. American breakfast sausage is often served this way, but I have never seen bangers served this way. I’m not sure it I’ll miss that satisfying snap of biting into one, but I want to find out!
Bangers and mash recipe with pan-fried bite-sized sausages smothered in stout and onion gravy on creamy garlic mashed potatoes. A classic comfort food recipe with bite-sized sausages which makes it easier to enjoy!
I added this recipe to my blog schedule a few months ago, and I was anxious to give it a try. The only problem I had was getting bangers. There’s a British grocery near a pub my husband and I like, so I assumed I’d be popping in for a visit.
All About Bangers (and Irish Sausages)
Then I happened to notice my local Fresh Market had Irish bangers, so I bought 3 in that week’s grocery order. Now I have to tell you that Irish sausages and English Bangers are very similar (and the Irish don’t call them bangers even thought they were labeled as “Irish bangers” at the grocery store).
Both usually made of pork and seasoned with herbs and garlic. The main difference is the filler. Breadcrumbs are used in bangers while rusk is used in Irish sausage. For my American audience, rusk is similar to melba toast or biscotti. And yes, I had to look all this up before buying them!
The result of all that research was finding out Irish sausages are slightly different from their British cousins but perfectly acceptable to use in bangers and mash. I had no idea if they were regularly stocked, and I couldn’t pass them up. But it was summer, and I wasn’t planning to make this recipe until the weather had (hopefully) cooled down a bit. Fortunately, sausages are great candidates for freezing, so I immediately wrapped and froze my treasures.
The Rest of the Ingredients
Fast forward a few months, and it was time to get cooking. Or—shopping. Gotta start with shopping, right? My shopping trip began with a look through my pantry to see what I had on hand. It turns out I had a few things: maple syrup, soy sauce, corn starch, salt, bay leaves, onion, and garlic. I even had butter and beef broth concentrate in the refrigerator.
That left a short shopping list that was easily filled at my regular grocery store. I chose yellow potatoes because of their creamy texture and Guinness stout as the dark beer for the gravy. Oh, and regular old milk for the mash. That’s it, shopping done!
By the way, I did notice later in the recipe that cooking oil is needed to roast the garlic cloves. I had some on hand and used olive oil.
There was a lot to this bangers and mash recipe, but the author broke it down into several sections to make it more manageable:
- Roasting the garlic
- Peeling and mashing the potatoes
- Sausage and gravy
I was working on these simultaneously for most of the time, so I wasn’t able to break down the times for each step or even as prep and cooking. Instead, I have a total time of 1 hour 42 minutes versus the total listed of 1 hour 20 minutes.
Roasting the Garlic
I’ve roasted a lot of garlic, but the technique here was a little different than what I’m used to. I like to roast garlic in a small ramekin filled with olive oil and covered with foil. Instead, this recipe had me coat the garlic cloves in oil and roast them on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
I could have done this in my toaster oven, but I used my oven since that’s what the recipe specified. It took 13 minutes to roast them I let it cool while I did other prep work. I came back later and peeled it.
Peeling and Mashing the Potatoes
While the garlic was roasting, I put a large pot of water on the stove to boil and scrubbed the potatoes. Then I added them to the pot with the bay leaves and salt, and let them boil for 30 minutes.
The potatoes didn’t pass the doneness test after half and hour, so I added another 10 minutes. They seemed perfectly tender when I tested them with a paring knife after 40 minutes.
I debated on peeling the potatoes and decided to go ahead and do it to fully test the recipe. I drained the boiling water and placed the potatoes into a large bowl filled with ice water. Then I scored the skin, let the potatoes soak for 5 minutes, and the peels practically fell off.
It wasn’t perfect, and I did need to use my paring knife in a few spots. Still, I was really impressed with how easy it was to remove the peel. I have a feeling this is a technique I will use again and again.
I also decided to mash the potatoes by hand since that’s what the recipe described. I added the chopped roasted garlic, milk, butter, and salt and went to town. Mashing with a potato masher is a little bit of an arm workout, but it’s also kind of therapeutic. I mashed and mashed until I got the creamy texture I wanted.
Sausage and Gravy
Can’t have bangers and mash without bangers, so that’s what I moved on to next. This deconstructed version required me to peel the sausages, break them into small pieces, and fry them in a skillet for about 20 minutes.
I stirred the sausage from time to time and did some prep work for the gravy while I kept an eye on them. My sausage was ready after about 15 minutes.
Prepping the onion was the only part of the recipe that left me wondering what to do. I went back to the recipe’s blog post and didn’t find any instructions on how to slice the onion. However, I did look very carefully at the photos, and this is what I came up with:
My sausages fried up with very little pan drippings leftover. I added a pat of butter to the skillet then the onion. I let them brown and added the remaining gravy ingredients. Tip: Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula or spoon to deglaze it. Those browned bits you scrape up have tons of flavor!
After the gravy reduced, the house smelled ah-maz-ing!! My mouth was watering, and I couldn’t wait to get photos done so I could try my deconstructed bangers and mash. I served mine in a shallow pasta bowl smothered with plenty of that stout and onion gravy.