Bangers and Mash, Luv?
With many cuisines I love to explore, the pub grub of the United Kingdom always fascinates me the most. For years I’ve heard to death of how bland and dull food from Ireland and England always is, but I beg to differ in this culinary culture of the pub. Perhaps it’s the beer, or the company, but I’ve enjoyed every authentic dish I’ve ever tried in a pub.
I’ve wanted to touch on what is collectively known as Bangers and Mash, but the idea of mashed potatoes hit with a rich onion gravy and then topped with a few sausages was just a bit simplistic, and I wanted to make something better. I found it in a few recipes for a beautiful stew made with these sausages as well as apples and cider.
First off, English and Irish sausages, known as “bangers” are quite different from the typical Polish, Italian, and German sausages found pretty much anywhere in the US. They are rather simple in nature, made from beef or pork. Sometimes mint or even leeks are added in, but the ones I’ve found were more a simple design. I give credit to shops such as Gaelic Imports for making these sausages available, and found that Winston’s Market probably is how so many pubs in Chicago get their bangers.
The recipe I’m about to show you though differs from traditional bangers and mash in that apples and apple cider is used to flavor it much differently. The dish becomes more elegant and tangy to serve either to the hard working coal miner or the Tory who’s out slumming.
Bangers with Cider and Apples
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 pound of sausages
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
- 1 cup of apple cider
- 1 tsp of powdered mustard
- 1/2 tsp of thyme
- 1/2 tsp of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch
- 1 large red apple, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a stock pot, heat up the two tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
- Place the sausages into the pot and cook until the outer skins are lightly-browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- In the pot, using any oil and fat left, place the garlic and onion in and cook until onions brown.
- Pour in the apple cider, and add in the mustard, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Stir thoroughly. Add in salt and pepper to your taste preference.
- Add the sausages back in.
- Turn the burner to medium-low, then cover and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Stir the cornstarch with a cup of water. Slowly add into the pot and stir until the sauce thickens into a gravy.
- Place the apple slices on top of the mixture and cover the pot again. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until apples soften.
Do not peel the apple. Simply core it and slice it.
You’re not limited to using just English or Irish sausages. Use any sausage you like. I will admit the actual bangers were a bit bland. Zuzana also wanted a more healthy alternative, so I used some garlic chicken sausages from Trader Joe’s. I must admit I loved them better in this recipe and would recommend you try it.
In my own quest to make this dish, I found apple cider hard to come by for some odd reason. I ended up using all-natural unfiltered apple juice. If you can’t even find a really “natural” one, then just use regular apple juice.
I didn’t put a recipe for mashed potatoes because it seemed redundant, but the suggestion is you make mashed potatoes any way you like, then place a generous portion on a plate. Top with some of the onions and gravy, then place a few sausages and apple slices on top to complete the masterpiece.