Irish Bangers and Mash Recipe

Irish bangers and mash is a classic recipe that makes you feel warm and cozy. The onion gravy for bangers and mash comes together in minutes using the same skillet you cook the sausages in. This bangers and mash recipe is quintessential British comfort food and a favorite family meal.

a package of Irish Bangers in its original packaging.

What are bangers sausages?

Known as “bangers” in Ireland and England, these sausages got their name from the way the links would split or “bang” open when cooked, hence the term “bangers.”

During the first World War, sausages were augmented with fillers such as water, eggs and rusk (a dry crunchy toast or biscuit) reduced to crumbs to add volume and fill out the ingredients. The fillers naturally expand in the sausage casing when heated, causing them to rupture and giving them their famously affectionate moniker.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

Aside from being a warm, hearty dish, you’ll love this recipe because of its rustic simplicity. A stick-to-your-ribs meal that will remind you of your Mother or grandmother’s home cooking.

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  • It is made with everyday ingredients.
  • It uses a single skillet to make the bangers sausages and onion gravy.
  • It’s ready to eat in about 30 minutes.
  • Leftovers (if there are any) are delicious the next day.

Ingredients to make Irish bangers and gravy:

  • Irish Bangers Sausages – Depending on where you live and the time of year, you may have to hunt for these pork sausages. They’re usually available in grocery stores close to St. Patrick’s Day, or you can check with your butcher for availability. If all else fails, order some online {affiliate link}.
  • Yellow Onion – Use one large or two smaller onions for the gravy.
  • Garlic – Best when freshly minced.
  • All Purpose Flour – Can also use Wondra flour or gravy flour.
  • Kosher Salt (I use Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, which is flakier and less dense than Morton’s. It’s easy to over-salt with Morton’s, so if that’s what you have, cut the amount by half and taste as you go. You can always add more salt but can’t take it away.
  • Black Pepper – I prefer fresh ground pepper as it has more flavor than the previously ground variety.
  • Beef Stock – If you’ve got homemade, use it. If not, please look for a low-sodium store-bought broth. Most regular stocks are loaded with extra sodium, so I avoid them.
  • Olive Oil – or you can substitute with vegetable or canola oil.
  • Butter – I recommend unsalted to control the amount of sodium in the recipe.

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Irish sausages in the butter and olive oil over medium heat, turning regularly to ensure each side gets browned and nearly cooked through about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the bangers to a pan or dish with a rim or lip (to catch any juices that accumulate).
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally until they’re tender and browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more until fragrant.
  3. Sprinkle the onion mixture with flour, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the flour is thoroughly combined with the fats in the skillet and no dry bits are left.
  4. Add ½ cup of beef broth and stir until it’s incorporated and the mixture is thick.
  5. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups beef broth and boil while stirring constantly. The onion gravy will thicken as it cooks.
  6. Return the bangers to the onion gravy, cover with a lid and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sausages are fully cooked.
  7. Serve the onion gravy and Irish bangers over your favorite mashed potatoes.

Pro-Tips:

Garlic can burn and turn bitter if you add it too early. Wait until the onions are nearly done before adding the minced garlic to the pan.

If there isn’t enough fat in the skillet to blend thoroughly with the flour, add a teaspoon of butter and stir it into the onion roux until any dry bits of flour are incorporated.

Use homemade or low-sodium beef stock to better control the onion gravy’s flavor (and salt content).

Variations:

  • Swap the first half cup of beef broth for an Irish stout (such as Guinness) to give the onion gravy a deeper, malty flavor.
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to the gravy mixture for a deeper umami flavor.
  • Add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the sauce for a sweeter flavor before adding the Irish bangers back into the saucepan.
  • You can swap bratwurst, another mild pork sausage, or even chicken sausage (for a healthier option). The flavor will differ from traditional bangers, which have a profoundly porky taste that is less heavily spiced than other sausages.

Leftovers and storage:

  • Store the onion gravy and Irish pork sausages in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator. Keep mashed potatoes stored in a separate storage container. Reheat them separately in the microwave or on the stovetop to serve.
  • Leftovers will keep for 3-5 days, refrigerated.
  • I don’t recommend freezing leftovers.
A skillet of Irish Bangers in onion gravy.

FAQ’s

Why do they call it bangers and mash?

Bangers refer to the Irish sausages; “mash” is the vernacular for “mashed potatoes.”

What kind of sausage is a banger?

It can be made from beef or lamb, but pork sausage is more traditional.

Are bangers breakfast sausage?

Yes. These meaty pork sausages are often a part of a traditional English breakfast along with Blood sausage (a.k.a. blood pudding) or Boudin Noir.

A plate of cooked Irish sausages with mashed potatoes and onion gravy on a white background.

What goes with Irish sausages and gravy:

If you’ve never had Irish bangers and mash before, I recommend going with the traditional accompaniment, mashed potatoes.

I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes as they have a good balance of starch, giving you fluffy but sturdy potatoes that will drink up the onion gravy.

For the best potato mash, be sure to drain the spuds well before mashing. Skip the hand mixer and use a potato masher or ricer for fluffy (not gluey) spuds.

A white stoneware bowl filled with mashed potatoes with a pat of butter melting in the center.

Other side dish options:

Mashed potatoes aren’t the only thing you can serve with sausage and gravy (though it’s really good). For a twist on the original, try it with soft polenta or grits, buttered orzo, or steamed potatoes.

A plate of Irish Bangers and mash with green peas and a pint of Guinness.

More Irish recipes you’ll love:

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Bangers and Mash with green peas on a black plate with a stout glass.
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5 from 3 votes

Irish Bangers and Mash

For a simple, rustic Irish meal, look no further than this classic Irish Bangers and Mash. The rich onion gravy is simple to make in the same pan you cook the sausages. Serve with mashed potatoes for a hearty supper.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword bangers
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

  • Large Skillet with a lid
  • tongs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound Irish Bangers
  • 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups beef stock

SERVE WITH:

  • Mashed Potatoes

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted and pan is hot, place the bangers into the skillet and cook, turning with the tongs every minute or so, until they brown on all sides and are cooked through (about 10-12 minutes). Transfer the bangers to another dish.
  • Add the sliced onions to the skillet and cook, stirring regularly and scraping the bottom of the skillet, so the onions and fond don’t burn. Cook the onions until they’re tender, about 6 minutes, then stir in the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Add the flour, kosher salt and black pepper and stir until the flour is absorbed into the onions and they look pasty. There should be no dry bits of flour left, and if there are, add another teaspoon of butter to the pan and continue to stir until it has formed a paste.
  • Deglaze the pan with about 1/2 cup of beef broth, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any stuck on bits.
  • Add the remainder of the beef stock, slowly, stirring constantly and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook the boiling gravy for about 1 minute until the sauce thickens.
  • Transfer the bangers back to the onion gravy and simmer over medium heat with the lid on for 2-3 more minutes until it’s heated through.
  • Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

NUTRITION:

Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 1274mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg

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A pin to save on pinterest with a photo of the pork sausages and onion gravy over a bed of mashed potatoes and peas.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I had commented earlier that this recipe sounded wonderful. The update is that it was indeed wonderful! There was a tinge of doubt that the sauce would coalesce into the creamy deliciousness it was. But the end product proved otherwise! It was delicious. This dish satisfied on so many levels! (Wish I could go to 10 stars!)