RecipeTin Eats x Good Food: Bangers and mash (plus the secret to lump-free gravy)

Comfort food classic: Bangers and mash with a rich onion gravy.
Comfort food classic: Bangers and mash with a rich onion gravy. Photo: RecipeTin Eats

There are people who argue that the best way to cook a sausage is to throw it on the barbie – think Bunnings weekend line up. A squirt of tomato sauce, a squiggle of mustard, perhaps a pile of greasy burnt onions.

But me? I'm a gravy girl all the way. Plump browned sausages half-buried in a bed of creamy mashed potato covered in a rich, deep brown onion gravy. Peas optional. Pure comfort food at its finest. 

Bangers and mash

This makes more gravy than you might need – there's nothing sadder than being short, so I err on the side of caution.

For the ultimate experience, use quality sausages and homemade beef stock. This will elevate it to bistro standard.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 sausages of choice, see note
  • 1 large brown onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp (30g) plain flour
  • 2 cups (500ml) salt-reduced beef stock, the best quality you can afford
  • boiled peas, to serve (optional)

For the mash

  • 1kg sebago potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp plus ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup (85ml) milk, warmed
  • 50g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces
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METHOD

1. Cook sausages: Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add sausages and cook, turning regularly, until nicely browned all over – thin sausages will take 6-7 minutes, fat sausages take about 10 minutes. Adjust heat as needed for even browning. Remove sausages onto a plate and loosely cover with foil.

2. While the sausages are cooking, start the mash: Place potatoes and one tablespoon of salt in a pot and cover with 2 litres of tap water. Place on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until potato is very soft. Drain, shaking off excess water, then return into the pot and leave on the turned-off-but-still-hot-stove for a couple of minutes to steam dry (nobody likes watery mash!). Add milk, butter and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Mash until smooth. Taste and add more salt to taste.

3. While the potatoes are boiling, make the gravy: Return frying pan to the stovetop. Heat a little extra oil if needed (usually there's enough fat from the sausages). Add the garlic and onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened but not too browned.

4. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.

5. While stirring, slowly pour in half the stock. Keep stirring to dissolve the flour, it will quickly thicken and become paste-like. Continue to stir and pour in the remaining stock until the slurry dissolves. This is the trick to lump-free gravy!

6. Stir in a generous grinding of black pepper and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1½-2 minutes until it thickens to a gravy consistency, and coats the back of a spoon. Taste and add more salt if needed.

7. To assemble: Place mash on a plate with some peas on the side (if using). Top with 2 sausages per serve and a spoon over a generous amount of onion gravy. Devour and be happy!

Serves 4

Tips

  • Any sausages will work here, but as a general rule, the more uniform pink in colour and the more economical the sausages, the more fillers they contain. Look for plump sausages with visible specks of white – these bits of fat help keep the sausages juicy.
  • A masher with a perforated head makes smoother mashed potato than the "S" shape masher. For extra-smooth mash, pass the potatoes through a potato ricer, and for silky smooth, through a drum sieve (worth it for special occasions!).
  • For the ultimate bangers and mash, serve with Guillaume Brahimi's famous Paris mash.
  • If you like this recipe, try my lamb shanks in red wine sauce.

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