Bangers and mash with onion gravy is traditional Irish pub fare, and is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Bangers are sausages so named after World War I when sausages tended to have a high water content to compensate for meat shortages.
Because of the high water content, the sausages would tend to pop or “bang” when exposed to high heat. Today’s sausages typically don’t have this characteristic “bang”, but are still referred to as bangers. Mash is mashed potatoes!
Ingredients for Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy:
I used the following ingredients for this delicious and easy to make meal: Bratwurst (for the bangers), potatoes, unsalted butter, milk, salt, freshly ground black pepper, onions, leftover Guinness gravy from Guinness Beef Stew, low sodium chicken broth, and Bisto. I would have used just chicken broth with a bit of Worcestershire sauce in the onion gravy if I didn’t have the leftover Guinness gravy. Because Bisto thickens the gravy, I could have used cornstarch instead.
Making the Bangers:
I started by browning the bangers in a bit of unsalted butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. This took about 5 minutes. Then, I added 1/4 cup of water and popped the bangers in a 325° F oven for about an hour. I could have cooked the bangers according to the package directions in a lot less time. However, I like to cook them slowly in the oven. Personal preference, I guess.
Making the Mash:
I peeled and sliced the potatoes, and cooked them in a saucepan in some salted water until they were fork tender. Then, I drained the potatoes and returned them to the saucepan. Next, I added some butter, freshly ground black pepper, and milk, and “mashed” the potatoes with my electric mixer.
Making the Onion Gravy:
I started by adding the sliced onions to some melted butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Next, I added 1/4 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper to the onions. I let the onions cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they were beautifully caramelized. Then, the Master Taste Tester finished the gravy by first adding the leftover Guinness gravy to the onions. He thought that the gravy needed a little thickening, so he stirred in several teaspoons of Bisto mixed with about 1/4 cup of chicken broth. After the gravy came to a boil, it was perfectly thickened and perfectly seasoned!
I served the bangers and mash with onion gravy with some steamed fresh Brussel sprouts. It was comfort food at its best. Yum!
Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy
- 1 1/4 pounds Irish bangers or bratwurst
- 1 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and cut into slices
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 large onions peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups 12 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Bisto or Cornstarch
- Brown bangers or bratwurst in 1 tablespoon of butter in ovenproof skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water. Transfer to 325° F preheated oven for 1 hour. Alternatively, cook according to package directions. Keep warm.
- Cover potatoes in large saucepan with water. Add 1/2 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Return potatoes to saucepan. Add 4 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mash with potato masher or electric mixer. Keep warm.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until nicely browned and carmalized, about 40 minutes. Combine chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and Bisto or cornstarch. Add to onions. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary to correct seasonings.
- Serve bangers on mashed potatoes, topped with onion gravy.
- Yield: 3 to 4 servings.