When I visited Ireland in 2014, I discovered a dish called Bangers and Mash – the “bangers” being sausages and the “mash” being mashed potatoes. All slathered in a delicious onion gravy, this pub grub favorite made me feel warm and cozy. So when I got home to New York, I tried to make some bangers and mash myself. After a few versions, I ended up putting an apple spin on it.
Be aware, this is not a quick recipe and it generates quite a few dishes to wash, but the result is well worth it. You’re basically going to be making two dishes, and then putting them together.
Prep the Cheese and Potatoes
I like to get the cheese for the potatoes ready first, before all the cooking gets going. Have you ever tried cheese from Ireland? It’s pretty easy to find here in the States. I bought Kerrygold Dubliner cheese at my local WalMart (in that cooler near the deli). It’s really sharp with a distinctive tangy flavor. You need to break up the cheese somehow to mix it in with the mashed potatoes. You could do that by grating it. But I don’t, because I think cleaning cheese out of a grater is pretty tedious. So I cut the cheese into pieces and give it a spin in my Ninja. It does the job fast, saves my fingers from getting grated, and it’s easy to clean up.
Next, let’s get the potatoes going. Cut the potatoes into pieces, trimming off all the bad spots, and toss them into a big soup pot. Add enough water to cover them, and turn up the heat to get them boiling. And as long as we’re in chopping and slicing mode, dice the onion too.
Keep an eye on those potatoes, because if you don’t turn the heat down a bit after they start boiling, they’ll boil over.
Start the Onions and Sausages
While the potatoes are getting up to speed, melt a few pieces of butter in a skillet. I have a cast iron one now, but I’ve made this with a regular non-stick coated frying pan before, and it works. Then put the sausages in the pan so they can brown. Add the onions and cook it all for about 10 minutes, stirring and turning now and then.
Add the Cider
Now here comes the apple twist. Most of the recipes I found for bangers and mash online called for pouring in a bottle of ale or beer at this point. And I have made it that way before. But I decided to try it with a locally made hard apple cider instead to see how it came out. I think it worked really well.
Cook this for another ten minutes or so on low heat until it’s reduced. Meanwhile, check on the potatoes. When they’re fork-tender, drain them in a colander.
Mash the Potatoes
Now they need mashing. You can use a hand masher, a hand mixer or a stand mixer, depending on what you have. I use a mixer, which I bought several years ago called an Electrolux Assistant. It makes the best and smoothest mashed potatoes ever (and excellent bread dough too, but that’s another story). I put the cooked potato pieces in the mixer bowl, turn it on, and it mashes them right up. Then I add butter, milk, Dijon mustard and the chopped up cheese, and it all melts and blends up to creamy smoothness.
It doesn’t take long with the mixer, so the gravy is just about reduced by the time the potatoes are ready. Depending on how you make the mash, you may need to work on the gravy before the mash is done. Just keep an eye on the bangers to make sure it’s not reducing too much.
Make the Gravy
Take the sausages out and put them in a bowl temporarily so they’re out of the way while you make the gravy. Mix the flour into the softened butter with a fork until it looks like this:
Then mix this into the cider reduction. It melts right away and thickens up the gravy. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste. Put the bangers back in for a couple of minutes to heat them up while you stir until the gravy is the right consistency for you.
Put Everything Together
Now heap some of those creamy mashed potatoes on a plate, top them with the bangers and gravy, add a few apple slices on the side, and enjoy!
A glass of hard apple cider goes nicely with this too. Sláinte!
A New York Version of Bangers & Mash
- 4 apple chicken sausages
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 12-oz bottle hard apple cider
- 1 Tb flour mixed with 1 Tb softened butter
- 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 lbs red potatoes, cut into pieces
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/4 c milk
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 3/4 c Dubliner cheese, grated or chopped
- Boil potatoes until tender. Drain when done.
- Mash potatoes with butter, milk, mustard and cheese.
- While potatoes are boiling, brown sausages and onions with butter in a skillet for 10 minutes.
- Add cider to skillet and cook until mixture is reduced, about 10 minutes.
- Remove sausages temporarily to a bowl.
- Stir flour-butter mixture into reduced cider.
- Add Worcestershire and stock. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir until thickened.
- Return sausages to gravy until heated through.
- Serve sausages and gravy over mashed potatoes.