Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy is a classic comfort food dish popular in Ireland and Great Britain. We love to serve it with bright green peas!
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I'm part Irish on my father's side, and I like to try making classic Irish recipes like this as a way of celebrating my heritage. Bangers and Mash is one of my very favorite dishes that I can't help but order when I see it on a menu. It's classic pub fare in both England and Ireland, but you will also find it in Australia and New Zealand, and it is one of the most popular menu items at the Leaky Cauldron restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. They are actually fairly quick and easy, and so incredibly delicious!
To make this an authentic bangers and mash recipe, you are going to need banger sausages, which are a specific style of sausage that can be difficult to find in the U.S. except around St. Patrick's Day. I like to stock up and freeze extras so I can make this recipe and Dublin Coddle (another favorite Irish recipe) more than just in March.
Bangers are typically a pork sausage with a unique flavor that you can't quite match with other types of sausage, although this recipe will work with brats or other savory sausages if bangers aren't available. We've made this with bratwurst and chicken sausages before and those are tasty too. If you are trying to replicate the banger flavor, bangers are closest to country pork sausages in flavor, and they are so juicy and flavorful when fried in a pan like this and topped with a generous spoonful of homemade onion gravy!
How to Make Bangers and Mash
TO PREPARE THE MASH
- Add your potatoes to a large pot filled with enough water to cover them by at least 1 inch. Add salt to the water and then bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender enough that they can be pierced with a fork. This should take about 15 minutes, after that, drain well.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat the butter and cream in the microwave until the butter is mostly melted and the cream is warm. (About 60 seconds).
- Mash the drained potatoes using a potato masher. Stir in the warm butter and cream. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
TO PREPARE THE BANGERS
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and beef broth. Cover with a lid set slightly askew so that some of the steam can escape.
- If the sausages are raw- cook for about 15-20 minutes until the sausages are cooked through.
- If the bangers are precooked you just need to warm them through and brown them.
- Remove the lid occasionally to turn the sausages so they can brown on all sides. Transfer them to a plate and keep warm.
- OR you can bake the bangers in a 400 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through, if that's easier for you.
I found Irish bangers, which are actually already cooked and just needed to be heated through. Note that raw sausages like brats or sweet Italian sausages will take the longer to cook.
TO PREPARE THE ONION GRAVY
- In the same skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and butter. Add in the sliced onion and then sprinkle with sugar and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are softened and start to caramelize and brown. This should take about 15-20 minutes. If it seems to be going faster, then you need to decrease the temperature of the stovetop.
- Add in the garlic and thyme. Continue to cook and stir for another minute. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the beef broth and cornstarch together, then add it to the pan with the onions, along with the balsamic vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Let the onion gravy come to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the gravy has thickened. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed. Return the sausages to the pan with the gravy to make sure they are hot.
The cooked sausages are served with mashed potatoes and topped with a generous spoonful of the onion gravy. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and then serve with a side of green peas.
What's a Good Sausage for Bangers and Mash?
You can really use any sausage of choice. Normally bangers and mash are made using thick pork sausages, but you can use anything from bratwurst or mild Italian sausages to a sausage made of beef, pork, lamb or whatever else you think would taste great.
Why Do They Call it Bangers and Mash?
Bangers and mash got their name around the time of World War I, when there was a meat shortage and sausages were being made with lots of fillers to help get them to stretch what they had. These cheaply made sausages would often burst while being cooked, making a loud "bang" sound, hence the name bangers, which has now become a British slang term for sausages and “mash” is for mashed potatoes. Ever since it’s creation, this dish has been very popular in British and Irish cultures.
More Irish Recipes You'll Love
- Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce
- Blarney Stones (Peanut Butter Squares)
- Shepherds Pie
- Irish Soda Bread
- Irish Colcannon (Mashed Potatoes and Cabbage)
- Corned Beef and Cabbage
One Pot & Sheet Pan Meals
Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy
- 2 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter
- ¾ to 1 cup whole milk
- 8 banger sausages
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
To prepare the mash
- Add potatoes to a large pot filled with enough water to cover them by at least 1 inch. Add the salt to the water, then bring to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are tender enough to easily be pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well.
- While the potatoes cook, heat the butter and cream in the microwave until the butter is mostly melted and the cream is warm, about 60 seconds.
- Mash the drained potatoes using a potato masher, then stir in the warm butter and cream. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare the bangers
- STOVETOP: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and beef broth, then cover with a lid set slightly askew to let steam escape. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until cooked through (if raw, although if the bangers are precooked you just need to warm them through and brown them), removing the lid occasionally to turn the sausages so they can brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- OVEN: Bake in a 400°F oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
- I found Irish bangers, which are actually already cooked and just need to be heated through. Raw sausages like brats will take longer to cook.
To prepare the onion gravy
- In the same skillet over medium heat, heat the oil butter. Add the sliced onion and sprinkle with the sugar and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and start to caramelize and brown, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add garlic, and thyme, and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Whisk beef broth and cornstarch together, then add to the pan with the onions, along with the balsamic vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Let the onion gravy come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until gravy has thickened, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed. Return the sausages to the pan with the gravy to make sure they are hot.
- Serve the potatoes with the sausages, topped with a generous spoonful of the onion gravy. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with green peas.