Bangers and Mash

published Feb 28, 2023
Bangers and Mash Recipe

The combination of pan-fried British (or Irish) sausages and creamy mashed potatoes makes for an ultra-cozy meal.


Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook1 hour 15 minutes

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Credit: Tara Holland

The British dish bangers and mash was voted the most comforting dish in the U.K. during the credit crunch back in 2009, and most of us Brits still feel the same, regardless of the economy (although it’s sadly rather timely at the moment!). It’s one of those classic comforting British dishes that is relatively cheap to make yet packed with flavor, and it makes regular appearances on pub menus all over the country. It’s a delicious dish that never gets old and invokes heartwarming childhood memories for me. It may take a few pots and pans to make it, but it’s worth the washing up — especially on cold, wintery nights. 

What Are the Two Main Ingredients in Bangers and Mash?

For those unfamiliar with the term bangers and mash, it’s essentially pan-fried sausages and creamy mashed potatoes. However, it’s essential to have onion gravy with bangers and mash. You can use the pan juices and rendered fat from the sausages when sautéeing the onions, which adds even more flavor. I like to stir a tablespoon of whole-grain mustard into the gravy at the end, which adds a little texture and more flavor! I also like to add a splash of heavy cream and sprigs of fresh sage or thyme to the cooking water of the potatoes to infuse flavor and creaminess, as I do in my cottage pie recipe

Credit: Tara Holland

Why Are Sausages Called Bangers?

It’s said that during World War I, when rationing was in full effect, meat was expensive and hard to come by, so sausages started to be bulked out with fillers such as rusk, bread, and water. The filling would expand during cooking, and the water would cause the sausages to pop, aka “bang,” and split open. And so the British banger was born! 

What Kind of Sausage Is a Banger?

A banger is a British or Irish sausage with a distinctive flavor and seasoning, but they are hard to come by in the U.S., although most independent butchers sell them. I am lucky enough to have an excellent British grocery store not too far away in Manhattan called Meyer’s of Keswick, and they sell the real deal! You can order online and get them delivered all over the country. If you’ve never had a proper British banger, I recommend ordering some, as they freeze well and can be used for English breakfasts and sausage sandwiches. Once you’ve had a British sausage sandwich with H.P. Sauce, you’ll thank me! 

What If I Can’t Get British Bangers?

As I mentioned in the Dublin coddle recipe that I developed, if you can’t get ahold of any British or Irish sausages, breakfast links or uncooked Bratwurst sausages would suffice. 

What Do You Eat with Bangers and Mash?

Although green peas are the quintessential accompaniment for this dish, many other options would go perfectly.

Bangers and Mash Recipe

The combination of pan-fried British (or Irish) sausages and creamy mashed potatoes makes for an ultra-cozy meal.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


For the mashed potatoes:

  • 2 1/2 pounds

    russet potatoes (4 to 5 medium)

  • 2 large sprigs

    fresh sage (optional)

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided (optional)

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 3/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground white pepper or freshly ground black pepper

For the bangers and onion gravy:

  • 2

    medium red onions (8 ounces each)

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 2 large sprigs

    fresh sage or fresh thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup

    dry red wine

  • 3 cups

    beef broth, divided

  • 3 tablespoons

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 8

    good-quality uncooked large pork sausage links, preferably British or Irish

  • 3 tablespoons


  • 1 tablespoon

    whole-grain or Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground white pepper or freshly ground black pepper

  • Serving suggestion: steamed green peas


  1. Prepare the following, adding each to a large saucepan when complete: Peel 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add 2 large fresh sage sprigs and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream if using. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes; do not cook yet.

  2. Peel and slice 2 medium red onions into 1/4-inch rings and separate the rings.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions, 2 large fresh sage or thyme sprigs, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, about 10 minutes.

  4. After the onions have cooked for 10 minutes, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt to the saucepan with the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 25 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, carefully pour 1 cup dry red wine over the onions. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil for 2 minutes to let the alcohol burn off. Add 2 3/4 cups of the beef broth and 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and cook until the liquid has reduced by a third and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Cook the sausages while the sauce is simmering.

  6. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a second large frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan with oil. Add 8 uncooked sausages and cook, rolling them every few minutes, until evenly browned on all sides and cooked through (an internal temperature of 165ºF), about 12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  7. When the potatoes are almost ready, microwave 3/4 cup whole milk with 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl until the butter is melted and the milk is warm, 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.)

  8. When the potatoes are ready, drain and discard the sage sprigs. Return the potatoes to the pot and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring regularly (this dries out potatoes and yields a fluffier mash). Remove the pot from the heat.

  9. Pour half of the warmed milk and butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream if using over the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until potatoes have broken down and are fluffy. Add the remaining milk mixture in 2-tablespoon increments and use a fork to beat until smooth and creamy and the desired consistency is reached. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper or black pepper and stir to combine. Cover to keep warm.

  10. When the gravy is ready, place the remaining 1/4 cup beef broth and 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until the cornstarch is suspended. Whisk the slurry into the gravy and simmer until thickened to the desired consistency, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon whole-grain or Dijon mustard and 1/2 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, and stir to combine. Discard the herb sprigs.

  11. Divide the potato mash between 4 large shallow bowls and place 2 sausages on top of each pile. Add any accumulated juices from the sausages to the gravy. Drizzle about 1/2 cup of the onions and gravy over the sausages on each plate. Pass the remaining onion gravy at the table.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: 2 bay leaves can be used in place of the herb sprigs in the potatoes and onions. For an alcohol-free option, omit the wine and replace with either 1 cup alcohol-free red wine or 1 tablespoon tomato paste whisked into an extra cup of beef broth.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.