Bangers And Mash

Bangers And Mash, also known as sausages and mash is a tradtional dish of Great Britain and Ireland, consisting of sausages served with mashed potatoes. It may consist of one of a variety of flavored sausages made of pork, specifically Cumberland sausage. The other really important to the dish is the onion gravy. The onion gravy ties everthing together and adds another layer of flavor to this dish.

In this post I’m also highlighting my recipe for Toad In A Hole. My version is slightly different from most because, I use all the same ingredients used in making my Bangers And Mash with the addition of my Auntie Joyce’s recipe for Yorkshire Pudding.

The origin of the name Toad In A Hole is unclear, but it may refer to the way toads wat for their prey in their burrows, making their heads visible in the earth, just like the sausages pepper through under the Yorkshire Pudding.

This dish brought back a lot of memories, of my childhood, living in Southeast London.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, 1 (4-quart) saucepot with lid, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, potato masher, chef’s knife, paring knife, wooden “spoonula”

Ingredients For Bangers:
2 (10-ounces) packages (10 links) of high-quality English pork sausages
1 quart of chicken broth, unsalted

Ingredients For Mashed Potatoes:
10 small to medium size Yukon Gold potatoes (approx. 2 pounds), peeled
3/4 to 1 cup of whole milk, *scalded (hot)
4 ounces of softened cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, room temperature
3 garlic cloves, freshly grated
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 tabespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients For Onion Gravy:
4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced half moons
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 quart of beef broth, unsalted
2 to 4 drops of Kitchen Boquet browning seasoning

Directions For The Bangers:
Using a fork, start by pricking 3 sets of holes, on both sides, of each of the sausage links. Place in the bottom of the pot. Cover with chicken broth. Over medium heat, bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to meduim-low and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Using a pair of tongs to transfer the sausage links, hold the sausage over the pot allowing for any excess liquid to drain from each link befire transferring them to a plate. 

Note: This process allows the sausage links to be completely cooked on the inside and the chicken broth adds extra flavor.

I like to add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a crumbled up paper towel. Wipe the cast-iron skillet both on the bottom and sides really well with the oiled paper towel.

Next, preheat the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer all the links to the skillet. Do not touch or move the sausage links around. As the links as they begin to brown and sear on one side they’ll release from the skillet with no resistance, around 3 to 5 minutes. Cook on the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. Tranfer the bangers to a plate cover tightly with foil, set aside.

Directions For Mashed Potatoes:
In the meantime, while the sausages are poaching in the chicken broth. Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water. Add 1 heaping tablespoon Kosher salt, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a steady simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the poatoes asre just tender when pierced with a paring knife. Do not over boil them.

Using a colander, thoroughly drain the potatoes and place them back into the pot set over very low heat just to maintain warmth. Using a handmasher, mash the potatoes while they’re hot. Mash the potatoes until fluffy and you’ve reashed the desired degree of smoothness. Be careful no to over-mash or the potatoes will become gluey.

Next, using a woodne spoonula, sitr in the butter, cream cheese, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Once butter and cream cheese are melted and combined into the mashed potatoes, gradually stir in the hot milk allowing time for the potatoes to absorb the liquid after each addition. Add more hot milk as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

Directions For Onion Gravy:
In a 4-quart saucepot, over medium-high heat add 4 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter melts add the sliced onions, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Cook the onions until soft and slightly brown around the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the all-purpose flour, continue stirring, cook until the onions are all coated and look to have a pasty-like consistency. Add just 1/4 cup of the beef broth to the flour/onion mixture and stir to form a wet-like paste. This will allow the “wet-like” paste to dissolve more easily into the remaining broth, making a lump-free gravy and, no need for a whisk. Add the remaining beef broth. Still using the wooden spoonula, continuously stirring, until it comes to a boil and thickens into a gravy consistency, typically 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover until ready to serve.

To serve this dish, spoon a bed of creamy mash potatoes on the plate then nestle 2 sausages on top. Next, a few ladles of my delicious onion gravy over the sausages and mash potatoes. Finally garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley.

There you have it, my Bangers And Mash, and as a bonus, Toad In A Hole.

Note: I made my Yorkshire Pudding in advance of this recipe. I wanted to include “my version” of Toad In A Hole, another English comfort dish using all the same ingredients. Slice two of the Yorkshire Puddings lenghthwise. Place the bottom halves onto a serving plate. Spoon a helping of the creamy mashed potatoes over top, nestle the sausages into the mash potatoes. Ladle the onion gravy over the sausages and mashed potatoes. Finish by resting the tops of the Yorkshire Pudding over the sausage.

There you have it, my Toad In A Hole. To get my Yorkshire Pudding recipe click on the link avaiable at the bottom of this post.

*Scalded milk: Milk heated until bubbles appear around the outer rim of the pot or until the temperature of the milk reaches 181 degrees F. This helps to dissolve butter in recipes.