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Bangers and mash (with bonus onion gravy): Vegan MoFo

Bangers and mash is an English dish that's probably centuries old, and it's still eaten everywhere today.

If you're not familiar with it, bangers and mash is a game of two halves: mashed potatoes (the mash -  you guessed that, right?) and sausages (the bangers). Traditionally most people would be eating crappy meat sausages, which is where the bangers name come from - when they were cooked, they'd pop apart with a bang.

So traditionally bangers and mash are made with crappy meat, but we have a couple of good vegan sausages - there's Redwood's and Linda McCartney, which you can find in most supermarkets in England, and the latter are the ones I've used here.

When I was a kid, bangers and mash were fairly standard dinner. Along with the sausages and occasionally lumpy spuds, you'd get peas, and gravy out of a packet if you were lucky, and proper onion gravy if you were really, really lucky.

Gravy is one of those concepts that the UK views differently to the US - it's like whether football should be a sport mostly played with the feet, and the importance of dentistry. Gravy over here is basically thickened stock, usually poured over a roast dinner. There's definitely no biscuits involved (unless you have something to dunk in your tea afterwards).

Proper onion gravy is the sauce bangers and mash deserves, and it's as time consuming as bangers and mash is easy. You sweat two finely sliced up red onions with a pinch or two of sugar until they're all caramelised - a matter of half an hour or so - then stir in some flour, and cook it out for a minutes or two. Then add some vegetable stock, a little red wine vinegar (or cut straight to the chase and get red wine itself involved), some woody herbs (any of thyme, sage, rosemary is good shiz) and mustard and let it all cook down until good and thick.

Then drown your sausages and mash in it, and face plant yourself in.


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18 comments

  1. Yummo! Your bangers and mash look so good :) We ate it a lot as kids and Aussies are with you guys when it comes to what gravy is and how it should be eaten ;)

    Also, I now have this in my head!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgjd8UNhMtk :D

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  2. Hi, there! I have an award for you at my blog! :-)

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  3. I had no idea that bangers were called that because of the popping noise that they made when they cooked! I'm going to remember that bit of trivia. This meal sounds so hearty and savory!

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  4. A nice and hearty looking meal! That bonus onion gravy really looks good, I'll do a face plant in that. :-)

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  5. Oh my goodness you've made me miss onions SO MUCH!!! It's a cruel twist of fate that I can't eat them anymore, this would have been just my thing... once my husband made me an entire bowl of caramelised onions as a treat- yep, I love them that much.
    Thanks for sharing x

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  6. Yum, I want to eat vegan bangers and mash every day. That pic makes it look so good.

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  7. I didn't realise how much I missed bangers and mash until discovering Linda McCartney sausages - now I'm back on the wagon! I'm a bit slack with gravy most of the time and just use a packet mix but I'm going to be more organised next time and give your onion gravy a guernsey as it sounds awesome.

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  8. I didn't expect it, but I might actually be able to make this! PS As an American I wholly denounce the idea of biscuits and gravy.

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  9. That's why they're called bangers? Well I learned something new today, I feel like I should have the "The More You Know" rainbow flying over my head right now.
    I so wish we could get those sausage brands here, you English folk have got me seriously jealous over here.

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  10. This looks so good! I didn't know the "banger" part of this dish was sausages.

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  11. Bangers and mash, one of the finest British meals and one my mum often makes when I go round complete with onion gravy :)

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  12. I've been in the UK five years and I've never had onion gravy, in fact I didn't even know what it was until reading this, and I really feel like I should rectify this situation soon! It sounds lovely.

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  13. How is it that I've just found your blog?! We had our final fling of summer and had a bbq over the weekend and those Linda McCartney sausages went down a treat :)
    I was always more of a "Toad in the hole" person than a "Bangers + mash" one but your plate does look mighty tasty.

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  14. Well, you've done bangers and mash proud. I need to dedicate myself to making a gluten-free sausage so I can make this. The gravy sounds excellent.

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  15. What a delicious meal! The onion gravy sounds so good! I <3 Linda McCartney sausages, miam miam! Have you tried the Irish vegan sausages before - Dee's?

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  16. Yum! A quintessential British dish from my perspective - it looks so good, and even way back in my meat eating days I wouldn't have gone for this dish. However, this has me drooling! :)

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  17. that photo looks so appetising - I love bangers and mash and we have them quite regularly as they are such an easy dinner and please my scottish partner. I also learnt from an English friend to give the mash a good stir to get it all creamy rather than just using the masher and it works wonders

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  18. I wanna make this not only because it looks comforting and delicious but because when Neal asks me what we are having for dinner, I wanna say "bangers and mash". It's too fun to say :-) Plus that gravy...oh my!

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