England has a reputation for bland food, which may be deserved. However if you are look for something hearty to keep you going all day then look no further than the classic bangers and mash. While specialty bars in the USA will serve this savory dish, it is truly prolific in the UK. Nearly every pub we wandered into had bangers and mash on their menu and we were excited to try them every time. Now we love making this dish at home because it is simple, tasty, and filling.
1/2 cup milk
3 tbl butter (in 2 chunks of 1 1/2 tbls)
1 1/2 tbl flour
1 1/4 cup beef broth
1 bay leaf
First fill a large pot with water and set it on high heat.
While the water is heating to a boil you can peel your potatoes and cut them into large cubes. Once the water is boiling carefully add the potato chunks.
Start cooking your bratwurst in a skillet on a lower heat setting, like 2 or 3. You will want to flip the links a few times to prevent excessive char on one side. You can cut the sausages into chunks if you want but they are traditionally served in whole links. The brats will take awhile to cook, probably around 20 minutes. There should be no pink inside when they are finished.
While the potatoes and brats are cooking you can start the onion gravy. Chop your onion into slivers and then saute them in 1 1/2 tbl butter and the bay leaf on medium heat. When the onions are getting a brown color add the beef broth and sprinkle in the floor. Stir thoroughly to make sure the flour in fully incorporated and doesn’t form clumps. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent burning. You can set your gravy to Low if you need to keep warm while the potatoes and brats finish cooking.
This dish is often served with peas in a variety of ways; minty, with pearled onions, or mushed. I really got a kick out of ordering ‘bangers with mush and mash’ in the pubs. You can microwave some peas or heat them on the stove top while everything else is cooking.
When the potatoes are soft enough to be mashed, after boiling for roughly 10-13 minutes, drain the water. Using a masher or some sturdy forks, mash the potatoes with the milk and remaining 1 1/2 tbl butter. We don’t like a lot of chunks in our mashed potatoes but everyone has a bit different taste. The potatoes will stay warm for awhile if you need to wait for the bratwurst to finish cooking.
Once all the brats finish, plate your mashed potatoes and peas. Top the potatoes (mash) with the bratwurst (bangers) and then drown them in as much gravy as you want!