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May 1, 2013 07:24 AM

Bangers and mash.

Now that all you Brits have told me how to eat pork pie, my next question is bangers and mash. I see that a company named Bisto makes a load of different gravy mixes. I am thinking about the onion. Any better ideas? How about mushy peas? Do they go with bangers? How about condiments.
Is the gravy enough or do I need something else?

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  1. Bangers and mash with onion gravy is a perfect combination, but there's really no reason to special order the Bisto. It's like using a jar of Heinz gravy for an authentic American dinner. Onion gravy, which is nothing more than caramelized onions with beef stock and vinegar or red wine thickened with a light roux should take the same amount of time to cook as your bangers.

    I would not serve mushy peas with potato mash; there's not enough contrast. Whole peas or beans might work, though I think bangers and mash with onion gravy are tasty enough to stand alone.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Completely agree, don't use Bisto it's one of the reasons Britsh food has such a bad reputation.
      A home made caramelized onion gravy with stock(though I'd use chicken stock for pork sausages).

      I'm inclined to agree on the mushy peas and don't think peas or beans are needed either. I do like mushy peas on pie and mash though( along with having them with fish and chips and faggots of course)

        1. re: rsanders99

          Offal, with spices and crumbs. Pig's heart, liver, belly meat or bacon ground and mixed.

          1. re: rsanders99

            The best way to describe them is that they are large meatballs, made with pork, pork offal and herbs. Served with peas and gravy. Very popular in the Midlands and South Wales. I've spent a lot of time in S Wales and there on almost every pub menu.

            1. re: Paprikaboy

              I love faggots - here in the north west we usually call them "savoury ducks". Dunno why, as duck has never been anywhere near them.

              Agree on not using Bisto or any other gravy mix. It's an unpleasant "industrial flavour" and overly salty (which is probably why it's so popular). I always think of it in the context of it being served with everything in the works canteen.

              The key to success with sausage, mash and onion gravy are three fold, IMO. First buy good quality British style pork sausages - you want a meat content of somewhere between 75% and 90%. Any more and there won't be space for the rusk filler which is imprtant for texture. Any less and there will simply be too much filler. Second, don't add anything to the potato - the dish will be wet enough without loads of butter or whatever being melted into the spuds. And, finally, cook your onions fairly slowly so they caramelise nicely and use a good quality chicken stock for the gravy. You'll want to taste it and see if a dollop of strong mustard adds anything.

              I agree with others that this is a stand-alone dish and doesnt really need any vegetable accompaniment. And, certainly not mushy peas - save them for fish & chips.

      1. Are you making your own bangers? if not, which commercial brand do you prefer?

        8 Replies
        1. re: ratgirlagogo

          No. There is a company called the English Pork Pie Co. that makes all sorts of British foods. They make all sorts of pie, sausages, bacon and black pudding. I made the bangers and mash with onion gravy last night. Not being British, I do not know if the bangers were good or authentic. I made the gravy with chicken stock, but I think I will use beef stock next time.

          1. re: rsanders99

            Looking at their website, I think there's every chance that you've bought reasonable quality stuff. Rather than just selling a generic sausage, I see they offer Old English, Lincolnshire and Cumberland which are well known traditional styles. If you want my recommendation, go for the Cumberland next time - it's the style from my part of the world in north west England.

            I see where you got your thread about Yorkshire pork pies. As I thought, I don't think your getting anything significantly different from a "normal" pork pie. Maybe next time, try a taste off between the Yorkshire, the Traditional and the Melton Mowbray. They may well slant the seasoning differently between them.

            1. re: Harters

              I have a Yorkshire pie in the freezer. The original was not very highly seasoned. I, also, have some Lincolnshire sausages in the freezer. I hope they are more highly seasoned then the traditional bangers I ordered. we will seee when I prepare them.

              1. re: rsanders99

                Lincolnshire sausages are more seasoned in that they have more herbs in them (normally sage) than normal sausages.
                Personally I prefer Newmarket sausages,as that's what I grew up with.
                Incidentally the Newmarket sausage received PGI status from the EU last year whilst the Lincolnshire sausage was turned down.

                1. re: Paprikaboy

                  I confess to never having heard of the Newmarket sausage, let alone its PGI status. I'm fascinated by the level of detail which defines the production area as in this first sentence from the Regulation - "From junction 37 on the A14, north on the A142 left at River Lane encompassing Fordham to Collins Hill up to junction B1102."

              2. re: Harters

                I am fascinated by the English sausage (no double entendre intended). I spent some time at the English Pork Pie website looking at what seasonings are used in them.

              3. re: rsanders99

                Thanks so much for the recommendation. The ones I have bought in NYC have not been that great, so I will definitely be checking that out. I see the brick and mortar store is in Buffalo - I have some friends up there, so maybe I can twist their arms into doing some shopping for me.

                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                  No need to have your friends send them to you. If you spend $50.00, they will pack and ship to you for a flat $25.00.

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