Irish Bangers and Mash for St Patricks Day

Bangers and Mash

Bangers and Mash – Sausages with Mashed Potatoes and Onion Gravy – is a traditional Irish meal that is perfect for St Patricks Day or any day of the week! An easy and authentic recipe!

This is the perfect meal for St. Patrick’s Day but you don’t have to wait for a holiday to enjoy it! Pubs and restaurants in Ireland and all over the UK serve sausages with gravy and mashed potatoes every single day.

What is Bangers and Mash?

Bangers and Mash is a dish that is commonly served in Ireland, and all over the UK, in pubs and homes all year round. This hearty and comforting dish is easy to make on a weeknight if you need dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

‘Bangers’ are sausages, typically made of pork, that are cooked quickly in a pan.

‘Mash’ refers to mashed potatoes, a typical side dish in Ireland and around the world!

The onion gravy is not mentioned in the name of this dish but it is essential! The flavor of a rich gravy poured over the pork sausage {BANGERS} and mashed potatoes {MASH} just brings the whole dish together!

Why is it called a ‘Banger’?

The name BANGER was first used in reference to sausages during World War 1, when there were food shortages. In order to make sausages go farther and more filling, loads or water and bread crumbs were added to the pork when the sausages were made. This made the sausages explode with a ‘BANG’ when cooked, hence the name.

And let’s face it, the British are GENIUS when it comes to naming their traditional foods! Bubble and Squeak, Toad in the Hole, Hotpot, Eton Mess, Spotted Dick, Rumbledethumps, Flies Cemetery, Knickerbocker Glory, and on and on!

How to make Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy

It couldn’t be easier to make this Bangers and Mash Recipe for dinner!

Start with the Potatoes
  • First, peel and cut the potatoes, cover them with water and get them on the stove. The potatoes can boil away while you move on to the next step.
  • A tip for the best mashed potatoes is to cut them in larger pieces. Smaller pieces will absorb more water and make the texture of the mashed potatoes gluey. I generally cut a medium potato into about 6 pieces.
Start on the Onion Gravy
  • While the potatoes boil, cut the onions and begin cooking them with the butter.
  • Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar when the onions are softened to help caramelize them.
  • Add the beef stock and boil a bit. This will reduce the stock and intensify the flavor.
  • Mix together the cornstarch and cold water then temper in some of the hot broth. Tempering is a method of slowly incorporating a hot ingredient and a cold ingredient together.
  • Pour the tempered cornstarch mixture into the pan and cook until thickened.
Mash the potatoes
  • The potatoes should be ready for mashing by now! Poke them with a knife or fork to make sure that they are tender. If they are, drain them in a colander.
  • Add the milk, sour cream, and seasonings and mash. Adjust according to your tastes.
  • A great variation is to serve Colcannon in place of the plain mashed potatoes. Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe made with mashed potatoes that have either cabbage or kale mixed in.
Cook the Bangers (Sausages)
  • The gravy should be ready about the same time as the mashed potatoes. Pour the gravy into a bowl or serving dish and keep warm while you cook the sausages.
  • In the same pan, heat the oil and cook the sausages until done.

Serve the Bangers and Mash by placing a portion of the Mash in the center of a dish, top with Bangers and spoon over plenty of gravy!

Add a Little Something Green to your Bangers and Mash

Bangers and Mash are typically served with either mushy peas or fresh garden peas. Peas are probably the most commonly served vegetables in Ireland and the UK in general.

The freshness of peas is perfect when served with the rich onion gravy. Feel free to serve with any vegetable on the side such as broccoli or aspargus.

Kale or cabbage would also be a delicious side dish with this Bangers and Mash recipe and would keep the Irish theme going!

Other Traditional Irish Recipes

Try more Irish recipes!

Irish Brown Bread with Honey Butter

Creamy Potato Soup

Cottage Pie

Irish Colcannon

Check out my round-up post for St Patrick’s Day!

What’s your favorite Irish meal? Share in the comments below!

Bangers and Mash

Recipe by Tanya Ott


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Make the Mash
  • 2 pounds potatoes (peeled and quartered)

  • 6 tablespoons milk

  • 1 stick/110 grams butter (cubed)

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the Onion Gravy
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and sliced

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 Tablespoons water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the Bangers (sausage)
  • 2 Tablespoons oil

  • 8 to 10 sausages


  • Make the Mashed Potatoes (Mash)
  • Start the mashed potatos by boiling the potatoes in lightly salted water until soft.
  • Drain and put into a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the milk, sour cream and butter. Using the paddle attachment or potato masher, mash until smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Make the Gravy
  • To make the gravy, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the onion and cover with a lid. Cook on low for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  • Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar to the onions and stir well. Cover with the lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the stock and boil gently uncovered for about 5 minutes.
  • In a small heatproof bowl, mix the cornstarch with the cold water to make a thin paste.
  • Pour about 1/4 cup hot gravy into the starch mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the starch mixture back into the gravy, raise the heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes or until the gravy is slightly thickened. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Cook the Sausages (Bangers)
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan, turn the heat to medium and add the sausages. Fry until the sausages are golden brown and firm, turning them from time to time, about 20 minutes. You can also grill the sausages on an outdoor grill.
  • Spoon the mash onto four warmed dinner plates, place two sausages on top of the mash, and pour the gravy over the dish.

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