For St. Patrick’s Day, bangers and mash with Guinness gravy is my go to meal. It’s an easy, comfort food recipe that comes together quick and cleans up fast. Start with thick creamy mashed potatoes, add some Irish or British style bangers, then top it all off with a rich, flavorful Guinness gravy. Serve with your favorite spicy mustard and don’t forget the pint of Guinness! It’s easy to see why this bangers and mash has become my one of my readers’ favorites.
Originally appearing on the blog in March 2016, the recipe was last updated in January 2019.
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again, so it’s time to dust off this recipe for Guinness gravy and turn your basic bangers and mash into something worthy of a celebration. Not that bangers and mash isn’t enough of a reason to celebrate, but on St. Patrick’s Day it tastes even better with Guinness.
For this version, I am working with raw sausages from my local butcher. If you can only find them fully cooked, don’t worry, I’ve included notes on how to rearrange the cooking order to still get everything done on time. I’ve also included a link in the sausage section below if you want to make yours from scratch.
This year for St. Patrick’s Day forget the green food. Instead, turn your friends green with envy when they find out what you had for dinner. Even better, double the recipe and invite them to join you!
How to make Bangers and Mash
Bangers and mash is a classic comfort food dish that is commonly found throughout Ireland and England. Made from sausage links, mashed potatoes, and homemade gravy, it’s a dish that Americans can easily relate to, too. While it’s often served with onion gravy, which you can find in my recipe for Pork Chops and Mustard Shallot Gravy, today we are making it with Guinness gravy.
The Bangers aka Sausages
If you aren’t British, Irish, or have close friends that are, you may be wondering: why do they call sausages bangers? Bangers get their name from the sound they make when the sausages gets too hot, causing then to expand and pop out of their casings with a bang. To prevent your bangers from banging, gently pierce them with a fork before cooking.
Truly traditional bangers and mash are made with a British or Irish style banger. Here in the US, I seem to only be able to find them around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Since I enjoy this meal year round, I often make mine with a lightened up version of turkey or chicken sausage.
Whether you are choosing pork, chicken, or turkey, make sure that you buy sausage in links, not patties or loose ground sausage. If you can’t find a classic banger, avoid sweeter flavored sausages, like apple or maple, and look for something with garlic, onion, herbs, or even cheese as the main flavor. The sweeter flavors don’t work as well with the Guinness in the gravy.
If you want to make your own sausages from scratch, try this Irish Sausage recipe from Kitchen Dreaming.
Making bangers and mash with fully cooked sausages.
Be sure to check the cook time on the packaging for your sausages. Many chicken and turkey sausages are sold fully cooked and only need heated through, which means they will take about half the cook time.
Start your potatoes first, as outlined in the recipe below, but wait to start the sausages until the potatoes have five minutes left. Finish the potatoes while the sausages are browning and the gravy is keeping warm.
The Mash aka Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a pretty standard staple, and everyone has the opinion that their way is the right way. In my opinion, real mashed potatoes should have the occasional lump of potato in them, they should be creamy, not too thick, and not too thin. If you don’t agree, by all means make them the way you like, but if you want to try them my way, read on!
When I make mashed potatoes I use a handheld potato masher and Yukon gold or white potatoes. These types of potatoes have thin skins, which don’t need to be removed, and a smoother flesh, that I find makes for a creamier mash. Since we aren’t peeling them, make sure you give them a good scrub before chopping.
Tips for the perfect mash:
- Cut the potatoes into roughly the same sized chunks, so that they cook more evenly.
- If you are working with pre-cooked sausages, cut your potatoes into 1/2″ chunks to make them cook faster.
- If you are using raw sausages try cutting the potatoes into 1″ chunks to make them cook a little slower, and getting everything done at the same time.
- Skins are optional. Keep them on if you want, peel them if you want. Either way, give your potatoes a good clean with a soft bristled brush to remove any dirt and be sure to cut out any eyes or imperfections.
Making Guinness Gravy
When I make gravy it always starts with a classic butter and flour roux and this Guinness gravy is no exception. It gets its name from the addition of Guinness, but feel free to sub in any kind of dark beer you have on hand. As always when cooking with alcohol, if you don’t like the flavors when you drink it you probably won’t like the flavor when you cook with it. To omit the Guinness, just replace it with an equal part of beef broth.
Questions about making gravy:
I use salted butter because it’s what I keep in my fridge. Unsalted butter works just fine and the 1/16 tsp of salt from the butter won’t be missed.
No. The flour is what makes the gravy thicken. You would need a recipe for a different method, using a different thickener.
Yes. Cooking the roux will remove the uncooked flour flavor and give the gravy a deeper flavor.
Cooking the roux too long can prevent the gravy from thickening properly. For this recipe, the goal is a blond roux. Once the roux starts to turns slightly golden in color add the Guinness.
For the smoothest gravy, use a whisk – not a spoon – to mix. The tines of the whisk break up lumps and incorporate everything evenly.
Whisk constantly while adding the liquid to the roux and keep whisking as it thickens.
Cover and keep warm on a very low flame. A skin may form on the top, but it can be easily incorporated back into the gravy with a little bit of whisking.
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Bangers and Mash with Guinness Gravy Recipe
Garlicky sausage and creamy potatoes, topped with rich Guinness gravy is a delicious addition to your St. Patrick’s day celebration. To serve, start with the potatoes on the bottom, add two sausages on top, then top off with a generous pour of gravy. I like mine with a bit of yellow English mustard, like Colemans, on the side.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2 – 3 days. Store and heat each component on its own for best results.
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- 3 yukon gold potatoes, about 1.25 lbs
- 3/8 cup milk
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 raw sausage links**
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup Guinness draught
- 1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp English style yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Chop the potatoes into 1" cubes and place into a medium sized pot. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 2". Cover with lid and set the pot to boil over high heat.
- Once the pot boils, remove the lid, lower the temperature to medium and continue to boil until the potatoes are tender and fall apart with a fork. About 12 minutes.
- Drain potatoes. Return them to the pot and add milk, butter, salt and pepper.
- Mash potatoes to desired consistency and stir to incorporate seasoning.
- If done first cover, and place over the lowest possible heat to keep warm. Stir occasionally so that they don't burn or stick to the pan.
- Place the sausages in a medium to large size skillet. Add enough water to come halfway up the side of the sausages. Cover and place over a medium heat. Bring to a boil then drop to a medium low heat and simmer until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid, turn the heat back up and allow any remaining liquid to boil off. Brown the sausages for 1 - 2 minutes per side, then remove from heat and allow to rest.
- Once the potatoes and sausages are started, start the gravy. Melt the butter over medium heat then whisk in flour. Allow it to cook for about 1 - 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Slowly add Guinness and beef stock, continuing to whisk. Add mustard, worcestershire, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Allow gravy to come to a boil, continuing to whisk constantly. Once the gravy thickens, drop the heat to low, cover and keep warm.
- Serve each portion with half the potatoes and two sausages links. This recipe makes just over 1 cup of gravy, which is just slightly more than we use for two people.
**The instructions as written for the sausages are for raw sausage from the butcher. If you are using precooked sausages, follow the instructions on the packaging.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 708 Total Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 104mg Sodium: 1700mg Carbohydrates: 74g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 5g Protein: 20g