For St. Patrick’s Day, bangers and mash with Guinness gravy is my go to meal. It’s an easy recipe that comes together quick and cleans up quicker. We start with Irish style bangers, stack them on some thick creamy mashed potatoes, then pour a rich, flavorful Guinness gravy over the top. 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 favorite comfort foods. Read on for some tips and tricks for smooth gravy and slightly lumpy mashed potatoes.
St. Patrick’s Day is on 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 putting Guinness in your gravy recipe isn’t enough of a reason to celebrate, but on St. Patrick’s Day it tastes even better.
Here in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is a reason to turn everything from our rivers to our food green. While this simple recipe doesn’t look green, it might just turn your friends green with envy when they find out what you had for dinner. Lucky for them, this recipe is easy to scale up to feed the masses or down to make just enough for you.
So, if you are looking for an easy recipe for bangers and mash with a simple Guinness gravy, you are in the right spot! For this version, we are taking the easy route and using either British or Irish style bangers, depending on what you can find. If you’d rather make them yourself, I’ve included a link in the sausage section below. Also below I’ll share my tips on getting the mashed potatoes and gravy just right.
These days it’s easy to find a large variety of sausages in your local grocery. Whether you are opting for a lightened up turkey or chicken version, or going with a more indulgent, full fat pork version, there should be plenty of choices. You will need sausages that have been shaped into links, not patties or loose ground sausage.
Avoid the sweeter flavors and look for something with garlic, onion, herbs, or even cheese as the main flavor, as all of these work well with the Guinness in the gravy. Avoid sweeter options like mango, apple, or maple. For St. Patrick’s Day I like to use an Irish style sausage, which tend to only be stocked this time of year. The rest of the year, I prefer a British style banger.
Whatever you do, pay attention to the cook time on the packaging. Many chicken and turkey sausages are pre-cooked and only need heated through. If you buy raw sausage it will need to be cooked through to 160 degrees, which will rise to 165 while resting. Bangers are called bangers because they have a tendency to burst open with a bang while they are being cooked. The steam building up inside the casing gets to be too much and you end up with a sad looking sausage and maybe a mess. Prevent this by piercing the sausage with a fork or the tip of a knife prior to cooking.
If you want to make your own sausages, try this Irish Sausage recipe from Kitchen Dreaming.
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. To achieve this result I recommend a hand masher and Yukon gold, white, or red potatoes. These types of potatoes have thin skins and a smoother flesh, that I find needs fewer additions to get the right results. The skins do provide a bit of extra nutrients, so make sure you give them a good wash, before you chop them up skin and all.
If you like your potatoes extra creamy and lump free, use your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. The whisk will do a better job of breaking up all the lumps. Be careful not to overmix, or your potatoes can take on a more gooey texture. You may want to use russet potatoes if you opt for the mixer, as their gritty texture is a little less forgiving to being over mixed.
No matter what type of potato you choose, here a few tricks:
- Cut all potatoes into the same size, 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, so that you don’t have cold potatoes.
- 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.
This gravy recipe starts with a classic roux, with is equal parts butter and flour. I use salted butter for two reasons: it tastes better and the amount of salt is so small that it can easily be adjusted for, as necessary. If you use unsalted butter, you may need an extra dash of salt at the end, but probably not.
The flour in the roux is what causes the gravy to thicken and set. Don’t skip the step of allowing the roux to cook for a minute or two before adding in the other ingredients. A cooked roux will provide a deep flavor, while an uncooked roux will have an underlying flavor of raw pastries.
The secret to smooth gravy: constantly whisking (not stirring) with a whisk (not a spoon). The tines of the whisk break up lumps and incorporate everything evenly. The most important time to do this is as you add the liquid to the roux – keep
stirring whisking as it boils and thickens. If left to sit and keep warm, a skin may for on the top, but it is easily incorporated back into the gravy with a little bit of whisking.
The Guinness in this gravy is here just for flavor, so it isn’t your thing, substitute with another Irish stout, or for a more basic gravy flavor swap it for beef stock instead.
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Bangers and Mash with Guinness Gravy Recipe
Garlicky sausage and creamy potatoes, topped with rich Guinness gravy is what I’ll be having this St. Patrick’s day and I do hope you will too! To serve, start with the potatoes on the bottom, add two sausages on top and drizzle the whole thing with 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 the gravy separate from the potatoes and sausage, and heat everything on its own for best results.
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Bangers & Mash with Guinness Gravy
Bangers and mash is the Irish (or British) version of sausages and potatoes. With thick, creamy potatoes, spicy, garlicky sausages, and thick, rich Guinness gravy, this is a comfort food meal that is perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any day.
- 3 yukon gold potatoes about 1.25 lbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 TBSP half & half*
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 sausage links
- 2 TBSP butter
- 7 tsp all purpose flour (2TBSP + 1tsp)
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup Guinness draught
- 1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp spicy 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. (About 8 minutes.)
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, half & half, 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. Melting 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 1 1/4 cup of gravy, which is just slightly more than we use for two people.
*The half & half in the potatoes makes a richer mash, but can be swapped out for milk instead. **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.