The KING of comfort food... Bangers & Mash! Only I didn't realize it until last week! Sure, I've heard the term Bangers & Mash and scrolled right on by the recipes, year after year. I'm not a huge fan of sausage and always thought this dish sounded boring.
So, we are going to cook up sausages and serve them with mashed potatoes? What's so special about that? EVERYTHING! Trust me on this one! Don't scroll on by and don't miss out on one of the best tasting recipes EVER!
With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, I started looking up Irish dishes to make. I have the Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe already (yes, I know it isn't really served in Ireland), so I wanted something different.
I must have seen Bangers & Mash mentioned in various google searches 1,000 times, at least. I ignored them all and kept looking. Why? Because it sounded boring and I wanted something spectacular to share with you.
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Please forgive me, my friends in the UK! I fully admit I was 100% wrong and Bangers & Mash is anything but boring. Seriously, I could eat it every day. Unbelievable!
Is Bangers & Mash Irish or British?
I was looking for an Irish recipe to share in celebration of St. Patty's Day, but is Bangers & Mash Irish?
These are the times that I wish my Grandmom was still alive or our family friend, Helen. Either one of them, being Irish born, would have given me all the info I needed, but, sadly, they are both in heaven now, so I reached out to my old friend, Google.
Through my meager research on the internet, I must say that Bangers & Mash is not Irish, it's British.... BUT, from what I understand, the Irish do love their sausages with a stout onion gravy and you know they love their spuds, so, let's roll with it! Just don't call it Bangers & Mash on St. Patrick's Day.
Call it Irish sausage with stout onion gravy (just add some beer in place of some of the beef broth) and make the spuds with Irish butter. There. Problem fixed.
The truth is, I don't care if it's Irish or British, it's flippin' delicious and I would serve it any day! It definitely has become my favorite comfort food!
What Type of Sausage Should I use for Bangers & Mash?
If you are in the UK.... well, if you are in the UK, you probably know the answer better than me!
One type of sausage that came up in my searches was a Cumberland sausage. There are certain characteristics of Cumberland sausage that are different from the sausages we normally see in the US.
The meat in a Cumberland sausage is chopped versus minced, so it's a meatier texture. It also has a peppery seasoning and usually has rusk as the filling.
Rusk is basically hard bread or biscuit and is used as a filler. I really thought about making my own sausage for this recipe, but I decided to leave that for another time and find a sausage readily available in the US for this recipe.
The bottom line is you can use any type of sausage you want! I recommend a sausage in a casing that is not smoked/cooked. I used a Kroger brand bratwurst sausage and it worked perfectly!
The bratwurst that I used was a mild-tasting, all-pork sausage and it worked really well in this dish. The flavors complimented the onion gravy without overpowering it with spices. I'd love to hear what sausage you use when you make this recipe!
Tips for Making the BEST Mashed Potatoes
I will be the first one to admit that I have struggled with making mashed potatoes my entire life. They were either too starchy, too runny, or just plain horrible.
When I owned an assisted living, I had to teach my staff to cook; and I'll never forget teaching Bea how to make mashed potatoes. Bea was from Ghana and mashed potatoes weren't something she was familiar with.
Despite not being the greatest mashed potato maker, I do know the basics and I taught her how to make them. Several months later, I was working late and Bea was making mashed potatoes for the residents. I snuck a bite and I tasted the creamiest, fluffiest mashed potatoes I had ever had. Surely, she had some tricks. So, I asked her.
Bea told me she followed my directions to a "T." Huh? Mine are never that good. It turns out Bea has a lot more patience then I do and I realized right then, I do know how to make great mashed potatoes, I just rush through it.
The trick is to be patient and follow the steps. Don't just dump in the cream and butter and get to mixing unless you want thick, gummy potatoes.
Once you remove your potatoes from the water, take your hand mixer or a fork and mash them up to release the steam. Steam is the gas form of water and when it cools, it turns back into liquid. By releasing the steam, you avoid extra moisture in your potatoes and they will be lighter and flufflier
Either warm your butter and cream or at least have them at room temperature. Add in your butter and salt and then add a bit of cream. Start off with a small amount and add more as needed. Cold milk and butter will not incorporate as easily into your potatoes and then you have to mash them longer to get it incorporated. Too much mashing leads to gummy potatoes.
Choose the right potatos or combination of potatoes for the consistency you want. This is really a matter of preference, but I think the combination of Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes make the best mashed potatoes. I use 4 Russets and 2 Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe and the result was perfection!
Waxy potatoes, like the red and white ones, take more effort to break down and the more you have to work the potatoes, the gummier they become.
Use a hand mixer instead of a food processor and keep the speed to medium. You can also use a manual hand mixer, but it's hard to get them as smooth.
You don't want to beat your potatoes too much because they will release too much starch and become gummy.
Splurge on the butter! I used Kerrygold and these mashed potatoes were the BEST I've ever had. The differences in this butter versus a generic butter really boost the flavor of the mashed potatoes.
Kerrygold butter is a European butter and has a higher butterfat, BUT it also is made with milk from grass-fed cows. The flavor is superb and worth the indulgence for sure!
How to make Bangers and Mash in the Ninja Foodi
Since we only use the sear/sauté and pressure cooking function in this recipe, you can make this dish in the Ninja Foodi, any Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker.
Of course you can make it on the stove as well, but if you have an electric pressure cooker, it's so much easier to use that!
The first thing you want to do is get your sausages cooked. While we go under pressure for a short time, it isn't enough to fully cook the sausages.
Add about 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil to the inner pot and turn the sear/sauté on high. When the oil is heated add the sausages to the inner pot and brown them. I let them sit in the pot for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes or so. If they are getting too brown, lower your heat.
While the sausages are cooking, slice your onions in about ¼ - ½" slices. When the sausages are nicely browned, add the onions and cook about 10 minutes or until the onions are getting brown.
Once the onions are nice and brown and starting to caramelize, reduce the heat to medium and put the pressure lid on. Make sure the valve is to the VENT position and let the sausages and onions cook for an additional 7-10 minutes.
You can take a temperature of the sausage to make sure it is cooked enough, but it isn't necessary. Anytime you pierce the casing, you will see juices coming out, so I try to avoid taking more than one temp if I do it at all.
I always aim to cook it at least 75% - 80% of the way, but usually it is fully cooked by this time and that is no problem. My sausages registered about 183℉/84℃ which is fully cooked. The sausages need to be at least 160℉/71℃ before eating. Even though mine were way past that, they were juicy and delicious!
Remove 1-2 Tbsp of the beef broth from your measuring cup and combine it in a small bowl with 2 Tbsp of cornstarch. This is the cornstarch slurry that we will use to thicken the gravy. At first, it will seem clumpy, but as you stir the mixture will become smooth and about the consistency of whole milk.
Now, let's make the gravy! With the Ninja Foodi on medium heat (sear/sauté), add in the remaining beef stock and the seasoning blend (salt, pepper, thyme). Stir and then pour in the cornstarch slurry. Continue to heat over medium heat until the onion gravy starts to thicken. This isn't a really thick gravy like a turkey gravy would be. I would say the consistency is about the thickness of heavy cream.
Turn the Ninja Foodi off and pour the gravy into an 8" Fat Daddio Pan. If you don't have a FD 8" pan, you can use any 8" pan, but the height has to be 2" if you are making this in the 6.5qt. If you have the 8qt, you can probably use any pan up to 3" depth and still get all the layers in. Set the pan to the side and wash the inner pot.
Peel and dice the potatoes into about 1½-2" dice. We will be going under pressure for 10 minutes, so that size will cook enough and be mashed easily.
Place the diffuser legs into the inner pot with the pointy side up. This is where the 8" FD pan will rest.
Place the cut up potatoes and place them in the 4 openings made by the legs.
Place the 8" Fat Daddio pan into the pot sitting on the diffuser legs. Cover with foil or silicone cover. I use these Silicone Covers from Walfos and LOVE them!
Place the frozen peas in a 6" Fat Daddio pan and cover. Place on top of 8" pan.
Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan with peas and add butter if desired and a little salt. Cover to retain the heat until serving.
If your peas aren't hot enough or cooked enough, just dump them into the potato water (after removing potatoes) and turn on the sear/sauté on medium until they are warm and cooked to your liking.
Remove the pan with the sausages and onion gravy. I found it easier to uncover it and grip the side with a rubber tipped pair of tongs and lifting straight up. Cover until ready to serve.
Using a slotted spoon remove the potatoes from the inner pot and place them in a mixing bowl. I found this large scoop from Pampered Chef worked great!
Using the beaters of a hand mixer (turned off) mash up the potatoes to release the steam. This will keep your potatoes nice and fluffy. Add salt and butter. Add ¼ cup of cream or milk and beat with hand mixer on medium until creamy and fluffy. Add more cream or milk as needed.
Plate and Serve! I really hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Bangers & Mash ~ Ninja Foodi 360 Meal
- Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper
- 2.5 cups water
- 2 lbs potatoes combination of Russet and Yukon Gold
- 6 Tbsp butter I used Kerrygold
- ¼ cup cream
- 3 cups peas frozen
- 1 Tbsp butter
- salt to taste
- Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the inner pot and turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/sauté. Place your sausages in the inner pot and sauté until brown, flipping them as needed. Allow them to cook in the inner pot while you cut your onions.
- Slice the onions in ¼ - ½" slices and place in the inner pot. Sauté for about 5-10 minutes or until they start to brown. Put the pressure lid on and turn the seal to VENT. Decrease the heat to medium and allow to cook for 7-10 minutes. This will ensure that the sausages are cooked at least 75 - 80% of the way done. This is important because if the sausages are not cooked enough before the PC time, they will not be fully cooked.
- Remove the pressure lid. Mix about 1-2 Tbsp of beef stock with the 2 Tbsp of cornstarch and stir to make a slurry. Deglaze the pot with the remaining beef stock and scrape the bottom to remove any brown bits. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir to combine. Add in the cornstarch slurry. Stir. Cook on medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Turn the Ninja Foodi off.
- Remove the Sausages and place them in a Fat Daddio 8"x2" pan. Pour the onion gravy over top. Wash the pot and return it to the Ninja Foodi base.
- Place the basket diffuser legs in the bottom of the pot with the pointed side of the legs pointing up. Add 2½ cups of water. Peel and dice your potatoes to about 1½ - 2" dice and place in the pot. Try to get them in the open areas between the legs so your 8" pan can fit in the center.
- Place the pan with the sausages and onion gravy into the pot, resting on the diffuser legs. Cover with foil or a silicone cover. Place the frozen peas into a 6"x2" Fat Daddio Pan and cover with either foil or a silicone cover. Place the peas on top of the 8" covered pan.
- Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. When the time is up Immediately release the pressure.
- Carefully remove the peas. Add 1 tbsp of butter and a bit of salt, cover until ready to serve. There will be liquid on top of the 8" pan, blot it off or carefully tip the cover so the liquid goes down into the inner pot and not into the gravy. Remove the pan. I found the best way to do this is by gripping the side with rubber tipped tongs and pulling it straight up. Keep covered.
- Remove the diffuser legs and scoop out the potatoes with a slotted spoon and put into a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer (turned off), slightly mash the potatoes with the beaters to allow the steam to escape. Add 6 Tbsp of butter, 1 tsp of salt, and ¼ cup of heavy cream or half and half. Turn the hand mixer on and mash on low until creamy. Add more cream or half and half if needed. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.