The History of Bangers & Mash
It’s getting close to St. Patrick’s Day and while everyone’s excited for green beverages and parades, we’re getting pumped for one of our favorite traditions – bangers and mash. Bangers and mash, or “sausages” and mash, is a traditional British Isles dish that consists of sausages and mashed potatoes.
You may be thinking, “what does this have to do with St. Patty’s Day?” and the truth is, not a lot. So why is it a common cuisine when celebrating the holiday alongside wearing shamrock sunglasses and leprechaun hats?
There’s truly no real answer to that.
Bangers and mash originated in 1919 around World War I in Britain. Sausages were made when there were meat shortages during the war. They were called “bangers” because of the combustion made when cooked in high water content under high heat. Mashed potatoes were called “mash” by the upper-middle and upper classes in an attempt to make themselves sound more refined than the lower class. The year 1919 was also when the Irish Republic declared its independence from the British.
Although there’s truly no direct correlation between these events in the UK and this particular cuisine, we have to just assume that bangers and mash is the meal for people who love sausage and potatoes.
Did you know that you can use any sausage for this recipe? It doesn’t have to be a specific style, but we prefer Fresh Pork sausage to really maximize flavor. This recipe also includes a Guinness stout gravy because we have to keep it a little Irish. 😏
Bangers and Mash With Guinness Gravy Recipe
- 3 yukon gold potatoes about 1.25 lbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 TBSP half & half
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP + 1 tsp AP flour
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup Guinness
- 1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Uncle Charley’s pork sausage
- Olive or canola oil for sauteing
- Chop the potatoes into 1″ cubes and place into a medium sized pot. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 2″. Cover with lid and set the pot to boil over high heat. (About 8 minutes.)
- Once the pot boils, remove the lid, lower the temperature to medium and continue to boil until the potatoes are fall apart with a fork tender. (About 12 minutes.)
- When potatoes are fall apart tender, add milk, half & half, butter, salt and pepper.
- Mash potatoes to desired consistency and stir to incorporate seasoning.
- If don’t first cover and place over a low heat to keep warm.
- Start the gravy once the potatoes are on the burner. Make a roux by melting 2 TBSP of butter over medium heat then whisking in 2 TBSP plus 1 tsp of flour. Allow it to cook for about 2 – 3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Slowly add 1/2 cup of Guinness and 3/4 cup of beef stock, continuing to whisk. Add 1/2 tsp of yellow mustard, 1 TBSP worcestershire, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp onion powder.
- Allow gravy to come to a boil, continuing to whisk constantly. Once the gravy thickens, drop the heat to low, cover and keep warm.
- Start the sausages when the potatoes have 5 minutes left.
- Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add in 1 TBSP of oil. Heat the oil, then add the sausages. Brown them for 2 minutes per side, for a total of 8 minutes.
- Divide the potatoes into two serving bowls or plates.
- Place a banger or two on top of the potatoes and cover with gravy.
Garnish with extra yellow mustard and enjoy!