I enjoyed Bangers & Mash for the first time at a pub on Inis Oirr, one of the Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway. The Banger and Mash came out to the kitchen screamin’ hot, I’ll never forget it. Inis Oirr is a magical place that made this dish sing in my soul, especially on a chilly evening. My version is a bit lighter (if you can believe that!), but just as tasty.
For the Mash
- 2 pounds of Yukon or Russet potatoes, cut in chunks (peel if you want, but I don’t)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt , divided
- 1–1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon butter
For the Sausages:
- 1–2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 pork sausages (whatever sausage you like, or if you find the real deal!)
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 oz. dried mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 30 minutes (save the soaking liquid)*
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 cup beef stock, about, you may need more
- 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Guinness
- Fresh cracked black pepper, lots
- Cornstarch slurry**
- 1/3 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
For the mash:
- Place the potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water add one teaspoon kosher salt . Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are completely tender. Drain the (keep the garlic, it’s now sweet and flavorful) potatoes, return to the pot, and mash with a ricer or potato masher. Add the buttermilk and butter and combine well. Season with the remaining two teaspoons of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper; add more if needed to taste.
- Place the pan back on the lowest simmer to keep warm.
For the sausages:
- In a medium-sized skillet, add enough olive oil to very thinly coat the pan. Add the sausage and brown on all sides (if the sausages are raw, brown them, then cover and simmer with a few tablespoons of water until thoroughly cooked). Be sure to scrape up those brown bits; that’s flavor, baby.
- Remove sausages to a plate and loosely cover with tin foil to keep warm.
For the sauce:
- After soaking, finely chop the mushrooms, set them aside (save the soaking liquid!).
- Melt the butter in the same skillet (as the sausages) over medium-high heat, and melt until the butter stops bubbling. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt. Stir for a bit until the onions brown a bit, add the chopped mushrooms and fresh thyme.
- Reduce heat and simmer the onions until completely tender (about 20 minutes). Add a tablespoon or two of the beef stock if the onions seem like they are drying out. Add the soaking liquid from the mushrooms and beef stock, Worcestershire, soy, and Guinness. Simmer until sauce reduces and thickens a wee bit. You may add a slurry of cornstarch and stir into the sauce if it doesn’t thicken up. Stir in about half the parsley. Taste and season with salt as necessary.
- Place a spoonful of mash in a shallow bowl, top with a big spoonful of the onion/mushroom mixture on top. Land 1 or 2 sausages on top, and sprinkle with parsley to garnish.
*The mushrooms are optional, but they do add a bit of depth to the dish
**Cornstarch slurry combine 2 teaspoons water (or stock or Guinness), and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small bowl, add to the sauce (off-heat), and stir until sauce thickens.
Keywords: Bangers and mash, mashed potatoes, Irish meal, St. Patricks Day, Onion and mushroom sauce, traditional Irish dinner