Thought to be an Irish dish, Bangers & Mash originates throughout the British Isles, a group of islands including Great Britain, Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles.
In native British terms, the “bangers” portion of the dish has been linked to the World War I meat shortage. Sausages were produced with such a high water content, they popped under high heat cooking methods. Modern sausages do not contain such a high water content.
Bangers & Mash can be constructed using any type of sausage you like. Traditional dishes are made of pork or beef, or a Cumberland sausage, long, coiled and named for the ancient county of Cumberland, England.
Bangers & Mash is sometimes served with onion gravy, fried onions, baked beans or peas.
As a shortcut – we will incorporate a gravy powder mix into our sauce.
Last week, I posted how to prepare mashed potatoes with leeks. Using leftovers from those delicious potatoes, I will explain a great way to reheat mashed potatoes without getting “chef Mike,” that means the microwave, involved. Chef Mike can dry out the mashed potatoes, to almost a paste like consistency – I don’t like that. My reheating method is easy.
The glass bowl should sit in the saucepan but allow a 2″-3″ gap between the bottom of the bowl and the top of the water.
Place on stove under medium heat.
Add leftover mashed potatoes to the bowl – remember, the water should NOT touch the bowl.
Add 1 Tablespoon of butter, per 1 cup of leftover potatoes you have in the bowl.
Place lid on top. It will probably sit on top of the glass bowl, which is fine. Allow to heat.
Occasionally, gently stir the potatoes to allow heat to incorporate.
Prep your onion. For two people, I used one medium sized sweet onion.
For easy prep, I used a mandolin, set to about 1/4″ thickness, to slice my onion.
Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a 12″ skillet. When butter becomes frothy, drop in onion, separating ringlets.
Add a pinch of salt.
Add sugar and baking soda to the onions.
Saute onions until just starting to brown. Approximately 6-7 minutes on medium-high heat.
Once onions start to brown, add the 1 Tablespoon of maple balsamic vinegar.
Into a glass measuring cup, I scooped out excess butter fat from my onions.
I poured in the Cracker Barrel gravy powder. I added approximately 3/4 cup of water and begin to whisk together.
This is the Italian Herb variety. Contains NO NITRATES!
Once the onions were cooked, I added the gravy mixture.
Using a whisk, incorporate the onions and the gravy. If you used a skillet without a non-stick coating, make sure to scrap up the brown bits – they are loaded with flavor.
Using a spoon, baste the links with your sauce.
Top with a lid, allow to cook on medium heat.
After 6-7 minutes, turn links over, baste with gravy again.
Since the sausages are pre-cooked, you are only heating them up and incorporating flavors.
DON’T FORGET TO MONITOR THE POTATOES
Once the gravy and sausages are thoroughly heated through. Turn off, recover with lid and allow to sit for 4-5 minutes.
Place potatoes on plate. Lay sausages across potatoes, gently pressing them into the mound of potatoes.
Drizzle with onion/gravy mixture.
And that is it! I served mine with a light spring mix salad.
This is not a complicated dish, hence it is served mostly in pubs or gastropubs as “pub grub.” Which means relatively quick and easy to make in large quantities.
I think this can be an easy weeknight meal, let me know what you think. Send pictures of your Bangers & Mash.