Bangers and mash is a traditional British dish, but of course you’ll also find it in Irish and Scottish cuisine as well. In case you didn’t know, “bangers” are sausages and “mash” is mashed potatoes. Sometimes, the dish is smothered in a rich brown gravy. If you’ve ever ordered this dish in a London pub or seen pictures of it, it’s not the most appetizing plate of food and it tends to be pretty bland. Let’s be honest, it looks like a big pile of…you know.
So at the risk of offending all of my ancestors, I attempted a little Italian-English fusion last night. My concoction appeared on our dinner plates after I spent a half-hour staring at the time-to-shop-again contents of my fridge—smoked mozzarella chicken sausage, a 6-pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, and just the essentials in my pantry.
But with a little plating finesse and an Italian twist, you can have a tastier, upscale version of this traditional comfort fare.
Italian Bangers and Mash
Time: 45 minutes
What You’ll Need:
- About 8-10 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 links of your favorite sausage (beef, pork, or chicken will do, but I suggest a sausage that has built-in Italian flavors. I used Aidell’s smoked mozzarella chicken sausage. I portion 1 link per person)
- 6 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon each of dried parsley, oregano, basil, and pepper
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
What to Do:
- Put the potatoes in a pot or deep skillet, and add just enough cold, salted water to cover the tops. Cover. Bring the pot to a boil, and let the potatoes cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Slice your sausage into halves lengthwise, or into thick slices. Put a nonstick skillet on medium heat, and when hot, add the sausages. Try to assemble the sausages in an even layer on the skillet and let them cook undisturbed for about 3-5 minutes, depending on how thick your sausage slices are. Leaving them alone in the skillet helps get great char and caramelization. Flip over to continue cooking on the other side, for 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through.
- When the potatoes are fork-tender, drain them and put them in a large bowl.
- Mash the potatoes with a fork or masher. Add the butter, dried Italian herbs, and olive oil. Continue to mash and mix the potatoes until they are smooth and clump-free.
- Fold in the Parmesan cheese. Be aware that Parmesan cheese is already salty, but feel free to add more salt and pepper to taste.
- When it’s time to plate, pile the mashed potatoes high and stack your sausage on top. Serve along with a vegetable. Enjoy!Perfectionist Tips:
- Trader Joe’s makes great all-natural chicken sausage in a variety of flavors, from sundried tomato with basil to spinach and garlic, and both sweet and spicy Italian style. I also recommend Aidell’s precooked smoked chicken sausages, like the one used in this recipe.
- If your potatoes aren’t smoothing out, feel free to add a splash of milk, sour cream, or butter. But be sure to add in any wet ingredients a little bit at a time, then mash and mix, and check the consistency often. You don’t want loose, runny mashed potatoes!