The key component to Bangers and Mash is of course the bangers. Succulent, crispy, juicy and packed with flavor, these are the ultimate British bangers to go with your mash and onion gravy!

bangers recipe homemade British sausages recipe for bangers and mash

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Growing up in England in my teens through young adulthood, Bangers and Mash was a dish I came to love and it’s something I make a point to order in the local pubs every time we go back to the UK to visit. For the ultimate comfort food you really can’t beat a plate piled with creamy mashed potatoes, savory sausages and drenched in a rich onion gravy. Today we’re going to share the recipe for the most important part of that meal: Our homemade bangers recipe!

If you’ve ever visited the UK you know the Brits love their sausages and they have a number of delicious varieties to boast about. To give you an idea, in 2014 the Brits spent roughly 780 million British Pounds (nearly one billion US Dollars) on sausages alone! The sausages we’re sharing with you today are associated specifically with the dish Bangers and Mash.

Does the Term “Bangers” Refer to a Specific Sausage? (No and Yes)

No, the term “bangers” is slang for any British sausage variety. That said, when it comes to the dish “bangers & mash,” in the homemade sausage-making world the bangers in that dish have often come to be associated with the inclusion of breadcrumbs or rusk and a particular blend of seasonings as key ingredients. These set the bangers in “bangers & mash” apart from other sausage varieties. You’ll also find those in the list of ingredients when you buy what are labeled as “British Bangers” in grocery stores, butchers or specialty meat shops outside the UK.

Our recipe incorporates these flavor and texture elements. We also include white pepper and mace, an old-fashioned spice that was commonly added in many sausage and meat recipes of generations past that gives it that wonderful traditional flavor.

British bangers recipe homemade sausages English

A Brief History of Bangers

The term “bangers” as a slang for sausages surfaced during WWI and the term became even more widespread during WWII. The reason: Meat rations were scarce during wartime and butchers had to resort to supplementing the meat with cheaper fillers including a larger ratio of fat, rusk or breadcrumbs and water. The result was that when the sausages were fried they would violently burst open with a “bang!” And thus the name bangers was born. The name stuck and continued to be used throughout the UK for many decades.

keep calm and carry on

Many Brits still use the term though it’s popularity is waning among younger generations and many pubs now refer to the famous dish as “Sausages and Mash” instead of “Bangers and Mash.” No, it’s not nearly as catchy and doesn’t conjure up the same nostalgia, but as Dylan once said, “the times they are a changin’.”

Nevertheless, along with the Brits who still use the term, the term “bangers” also continues to be the most popular way to refer to British sausages by people outside of the UK. And if a pub in Australia, Canada or the United States is serving British sausages with mashed potatoes and onion gravy, more than likely it will be called “bangers & mash.” And that’s what we’ll forever call it, too.

How Are Bangers Served?

Bangers has never really been a standalone term, it’s generally always been used in conjunction with the famous dish known as Bangers and Mash. That is bangers served on a pile of mashed potatoes and drenched in onion gravy and often with a side of peas. It falls under the genre “pub grub”, meaning it’s quick to make and can easily be made in large quantities.

It remains one of Great Britains most iconic dishes and in 2009 was listed as Britain’s most popular comfort food by a survey conducted by Britain’s TV channel, Good Food.

Bangers hold a nostalgic and meaningful place in British history and its culinary heritage and we love them. Bangers & Mash has always been a favorite in our home and I’ve developed a recipe for it that we’re confident you’re going to love as much as we do!

Get our BEST Bangers and Mash recipe!

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Be sure to check out our recipe for the BEST Onion Gravy!

onion gravy recipe best homemade from scratch British English bangers and mash

Can Bangers Be Frozen?

Absolutely. You can either freeze the Bangers raw prior to poaching (then thaw, poach, fry/grill) or freeze them after they’re poached. Either way, lay the bangers out on a tray and place it in the freezer. Once frozen place the bangers in a ziplock freezer bag or airtight container. They will keep for up to 3 months.

A Few Sausage-Making Resources

For making sausages you’ll need a meat grinder and a sausage stuffer. Years ago I tried using the KitchenAid attachments for both of these and as any experienced sausage maker will tell you, they’re downright frustrating. If making sausages is something you’re interested in doing I strongly recommend getting some good equipment.

In choosing our sausage-making equipment, we did a lot of research and chose the items that were the good quality without having to pay a fortune.

Which Meat Grinder Do You Recommend?

We use the STX International Turbo Force Electric Meat Grinder. With 3000 watts, 3 speeds and a 3-year warranty, it has high reviews and comes top-recommended by most review sites as the best bang for the buck.

Which Sausage Stuffer Do You Recommend?

We use the Super Deal Heavy Duty 5L Vertical Sausage Stuffer and have been very happy with it. We carefully researched the sausage stuffers on the market and chose this one specifically because of it’s large capacity and 100% metal construction (no plastic parts = not breakable). It’s also easy to clean which is another bonus.

Which Hog Casings Do You Recommend?

We only use casings from The Sausage Maker. They are sourced from North American hogs whereas other brands source them from China. I use and recommend these hog casings from The Sausage Maker.

Ready to make some homemade British bangers?

Let’s get started!

Be sure to use homemade breadcrumbs from twice toasted bread (in other words, do not use pre-made breadcrumbs from the store). This is important for the texture of the bangers.

Bangers Collage 3

Combine the pork, fat and crushed ice in a bowl and then, working quickly, use a meat grinder to grind the mixture through a medium die. Put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes and then grind again through a small die. Preferably grind the meat mixture into a bowl set atop an ice bath to keep the meat cold.

Note: It is imperative that the meat be at a constant cold temperature so that the fat doesn’t get too soft. You should be able to see clear definition between the lean meat the specks of fat in the ground mixture.

Note: It is imperative that the meat be at a constant cold temperature so that the fat doesn’t get too soft. You should be able to see clear definition between the lean meat the specks of fat in the ground mixture.

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Bangers Collage 1

Place ground meat in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add all remaining ingredients except for the hog casings.

Mix the meat mixture with the paddle for 3-4 minutes until threads begin to appear in the meat: If you take a clump of meat and pull it apart with your fingers you will see tiny threads pulling apart. When you see this your meat is ready.

*If the meat mixture is too dry and stiff, add a little more ice water. You want a soft/smooth mixture that will easily go into the casings.

*This is also the time to taste your sausage mixture so you can adjust the seasonings if needed. To do this, take a bit of the meat mixture, fry it up in a pan, taste it and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Bangers Collage 2 Place the meat mixture back in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the casings.

Thread your sausage stuffer with the prepared hog casings, fill the sausage stuffer with the meat mixture, and stuff the casings being careful to avoid air gaps while also being careful to not over-stuff the casings.

Twist the sausages into links. Use a sausage pricker to prick any air bubbles out of the links.

Bangers Collage 6

Sausage-making is a family affair in our home. What curious kid can resist the excitement of squishy meat being stuffed into slippery hog intestines? It’s a feast for the tactile senses!

For best results chill the sausages overnight. This will give the flavors time to develop.

bangers recipe homemade British sausages for bangers and mash

To cook, fry the bangers or roast them in the oven.

Enjoy!

bangers recipe homemade British sausages for bangers and mash © Zkruger | Dreamstime

Be sure to try our other great sausage recipes!

  • Authentic German Bratwursts
  • Breakfast Sausages
  • Smoked Cheddar Sausages
  • and use today’s delicious Bangers in this traditional Toad in the Hole!

Don’t forget our recipe for the BEST Onion Gravy for your bangers & Mash!

And get our BEST Bangers and Mash recipe!

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