British Pub Food: Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy

by Michael on April 21, 2012 · 25 comments

I spent a good part of my young adult life working in the restaurant industry. Too long some would say. I’d tend to agree. And during that time I operated an English pub, authentic in the decor, atmosphere and menu. There was the long, winding wood bar with 18 different draughts on tap, including some British classics.The booths, high tops, billiards and dart board had you feeling like you were in a different country. That was the plan. But it was the food that had everyone coming back for more.

It was the local neighbourhood pub. On any given night you’d find families enjoying a night out at a table, friends gathered in tight around the bar, teams out back enjoying pints and snacks and playing darts. It was the place where everyone knew everyone. And they all stopped in for a visit. Like I did before I started working there. And after I left.

Long after my final days at that establishment and in that industry I still found myself popping back in or at least visiting similar spots around town. Especially as the wind grew stronger and the temperature dug down deep and cold. I’d grab a spot by the fireplace, order up something comforting like fish and chips, Guinness steak & mushroom pie, pot roast & Yorkshire pudding, the full English breakfast if it was morning and, of course, bangers & mash.

And for the most part, I ordered bangers and mash. It was my favourite pub food. Every time I ate it felt like the home I never lived in. Visiting relatives or taking an excursion to a pub down the street for the finest fare around.  Regardless, bangers and mash comforted me. And I turned to that dish more times than I could count. And continued doing so when I started making it at home.

So when those early spring temperatures temporarily disappeared recently and brought back the shiver we were all too familiar with come the end of winter, I decided to make this. To remind me of where I came from and what I’ve been through but also to warm me from the inside out. And it did.

From my kitchen to yours,

Michael

 

Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork sausages
  • olive oil
  • handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 200 ml beef stock

Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Using a large saute pan over medium-high heat, fry the sausages on all sides until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Place the pan and sausages into the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until crisp all over.
  3. While the sausages are cooking, boil the potatoes in a large pot with generously salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pot. Mash the potatoes with the milk and butter until smooth. Put a lid on the pot and keep warm on the back burner until it’s needed.
  4. Fry the onions in a large pan with the lid on with a little oil and butter over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until softened. Take off the lid and turn up the heat and cook until golden brown. Add in the flour and the stock and bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until you have the consistency of gravy.
  5. To plate, spoon some smooth potatoes onto the bottom of a plate. Top with two sausages, chopped or whole, and spoon over the onion gravy over top. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over top.
  6. Serves 2.

Leave a Comment

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian April 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Bangers and mash tend to sound really unappealing but you have made one awesome looking dish. If I ate meat, I’d totally be all over this.

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Eliot April 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

Mashed potatoes are my comfort food. Your pictures are beautiful and I love the portrait of the thyme. I am going to put this in my “to make” file. (Your pub days sound very interesting—the restaurant world fascinates me.)

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Meeta April 23, 2012 at 4:40 am

Oh yes – bangers & mash are an all time fave at our house. we of course use German bratwurst for ours though. Love this!

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patty April 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

Wow.. this looks amazing! I thought it was much more complicated than this…
Thank you for once again making me feel like i can “do” this….
I always get so excited when i see you have new post!

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Charlie April 23, 2012 at 10:01 am

Michael:

Love, love, love British food!
Bangers and mash is so comforting. I usually use Octoberfest sausage or weisswurst, instead of plain sausages though.

OH! and give me a good steak and kidney pudding!

Thanks for sharing.

Have a Joyful Day!

Charlie

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Katie G April 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I NEED bangers and mash, and your’s look wonderful! I found your website a few weeks ago- you have great food, and fab pictures- but I think I like your writing best… Hmmmm

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Sarah April 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I have to admit, it actually looks really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen April 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Whoa! I love bangers and mash. I’ve wanted to give these a go for some time now–this has convinced me I gotta give it whirl.

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sippitysup April 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Bangers, such an odd food word! Which makes it twice as delicious. GREG

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Grace April 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I luv your photography!

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Heather Mulholland April 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

It’s like you just tapped into my mind with this. I feel the same way about everything, pubs being a place to go and visit friends, but also how bangers and mash are comfort food. Whenever I go to a new pub, I always try to have it, it’s the ultimate comfort dish and now I know what to make on this rainy day.

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shuhan April 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm

just discovered your blog by a pin on pinterest. gorgeous gorgeous photos! enjoyed reading about your experiences too, you have a very nice comfortable writing style (: bangers and mash was one of the first very British foods I tried when I moved to London, it’s simple, but hearty and oh-so-good. the key is a really good sausage of course. nice one !

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Javelin Warrior April 27, 2012 at 1:31 am

I’ll be honest, I’ve never had bangers and mash before – I know the concept of eating sausage with mashed potatoes is not particularly complicated, but I’ve never had it. And clearly, it’s my loss – this looks incredible… I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…

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cookingrookie April 27, 2012 at 2:15 am

mmm…perfect comfort food :-)

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Jeanne @ CookSister! April 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

There is something truly magical about a good plate of bangers and mash – the melting quality of the onions in the gravy, the smooth creaminess of the mash – it’s quite sublime. It’s a thing of rare beauty – and your version looks like a winner. Thanks!

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Natalie April 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Well, that took me back. My Dad used to make me bangers and mash! He’s been gone for 20 years. This version looks great and I’m going to try it.

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 30, 2012 at 5:53 am

I want to hear more about your pub days, I bet you’ve got some great stories!

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Peter G | Souvlaki ForThe Soul May 15, 2012 at 4:47 am

I have to say…there is something so special about bangers and mash! Comfort food rules!

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Emma July 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I love your website and everything looks delicious! I have to pick you up on one point, however. You mentioned Pot Roast and Yorkshire Pudding… well, we don’t have Pot Roast here in England – it’s an American thing. Instead, Yorkshire Pudding is eaten as an accompaniment to roast beef. I hope you don’t mind me pointing this out. :o)

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xandi July 29, 2012 at 9:22 am

I love the way you write…it almost makes me want to plagiarize. You write what I feel. Your food and your words are beautiful.

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Steph @ Lick My Spoon August 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Michael,

My mouth is watering. Thank you.

BTW, I featured this on my High-Five Fridays — perfect for my Olympics edition :)
Thanks for the inspiration :)

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Richard Young December 19, 2013 at 2:27 am

I’m going to make Bangers and Mash for Christmas because the whole family will not be here yet. I will be using authentic Bangers and may serve Newcastle Brown Ale with the meal. I love Britain and British food. I cannot wait to go back. I will also have many single malt whiskeys and a couple of fires burning.

Richard Young

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