Apron Free Cooking ~ Bangers and Mash
By Noel Lizotte
One of my favorite Irish meals is Bangers and Mash. Besides having a really fun name to say, the food is good to eat! The proof being that my children leave empty plates and serving dishes whenever I make up this meal.
Bangers are an Irish sausage. Tradition says the name comes from the occasional sausage bursting while cooking and causing a banging noise in the pan. I’ve never had a sausage explode while cooking, but I’m pretty sure that’s a mess I don’t want to clean up. As a precaution, I suggest always keeping a lid on your sausages.
Mash is simply mashed potatoes. You can up the Irish quotient by chopping up some cabbage and cooking it with the potatoes. Then mash the whole thing together with a lot of butter and salt. Colcannon is a mixture of potatoes, cabbage and leeks, boiled and mashed together then seasoned with salt, pepper and butter.
A main ingredient in this recipe is potatoes. For those of you who are students of history, the Irish people ran into a whole pile of trouble when the potato famine hit their shores in 1845. The shortage of food became a major reason many families immigrated to the United States. These families brought with them their traditions. St. Patrick’s Day is one tradition which has been accepted by nearly every part of the United States population.
Like most Irish recipes, this one is simple and hearty. Many recipes from Ireland are humble foods, eaten by the largest part of the population. Very few Irish recipes are fancy or require rich ingredients.
Bangers and Mash
8 sausage links
8 large potatoes
½ cup milk
4 TB butte
In a large skillet, brown the sausages. In a large pan of water, place peeled and diced potatoes. Bring the potatoes to boil and cook until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and place in mixing bowl with milk and butter. Mash the potatoes with the butter until smooth. Serve a generous scoop of potatoes with two sausage links and gravy to each person.
Approximate Nutritional Values: Servings 8. Amount Per Serving: Calories: 570, Total Fat: 25g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 1207mg, Total Carbs: 67g, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Protein: 20g.
Make it a meal: Cooked cabbage or Irish soda bread and butter make a good addition to this meal. If you want to add some green veggies, consider some steamed broccoli or a tossed salad.
You can use any sausage links you prefer, however, you may need to adjust the serving size based on your sausage selection. If you use a nice German bratwurst type sausage, a single link will usually work for a serving. If you are using the little precooked sausages that come from the freezer section, you’ll want to increase the number of links you serve.
For the brown gravy, you may use the packet powder mix or canned variety. If you want to make your gravy from scratch, then I say, go for it! I’ve just never had much luck with homemade gravy, so I stick with the sure thing. My family doesn’t seem to mind, they’re usually wiping up the remnants of the gravy and mash with a slice of bread.
Noel Lizotte is breaking free of corporate stress with convenience cooking! www.apronfreecooking.com.