We’ve showed you how to create and smoke your own sausages, so it’s only right that we offer some of our favorite sausage recipes.
I’ll teach you how to create fresh Irish Bangers from scratch using the freshest local ingredients you can find in this recipe. Finish with cast iron smashed potatoes for a unique spin on an Irish classic.
Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any other time you want a tasty supper.
- What are Irish Bangers
- Making Irish sausages at home
- What kind of meat works best?
- Prepare your ingredients and grinder
- Grind the meat
- Stuff the casings
- Dry the sausages
- Smoke your sausages
- Prep the potatoes
- Pan fry the sausages
- Eat and enjoy!
- Do the Irish eat bangers and mash?
- What is bangers and mash called?
- What’s the difference between English bangers and Irish bangers?
- What are bangers if you eat bangers and mash?
- What do Irish people call mash?
- What nationality eats bangers and mash?
- Are bangers the same as bratwurst?
- Why do British people say bangers?
- Why do Brits call them bangers?
- What does Irish bangers taste like?
What are Irish Bangers
Bangers are a classic Irish sausage that is loaded with fresh herbs and spices, resulting in a fragrant and juicy finished product. Unlike English bangers, which are bland and readily disguised with sauces and side dishes, Irish bangers are delicious on their own or as the featured protein in a meal.
The name banger became widespread in portions of the United Kingdom as early as World War I. Due to meat shortages and restrictions, people had to come up with novel methods to stretch their meals by combining breads and cereals.
Because of the extra moisture content in the meat grind, the sausages would hiss, pop, and bang about the pot when cooked properly, earning them the name bangers.
For an aromatic finish, we use less fillers and more fresh herbs in our recipe.
Related How to make homemade hot dogs
Making Irish sausages at home
Many people are scared by the prospect of creating their own sausage at home, and rightfully so, but once you get the hang of it with the correct equipment, you’ll be producing your own sausages in no time.
Well, we’ll smoke these sausages for a brief while to give them a faint smoky taste, then finish them in a skillet like traditional Irish bangers. Serve them with mashed red potatoes for a new take on a classic meal.
What you’ll need
- A meat grinder
- A sausage stuffer
- A smoker capable of both indirect and direct heat
- I’m using the ThermoPro TP15H instant-read thermometer.
- Smoking wood pieces, such as hickory or apple, are ideal for this meal.
- Lump charcoal
- A cast-iron or heavy bottom skillet
- A sharp knife and cutting board
- A kitchen scale for weighing herbs and spices precisely.
- Five (5) pounds of quality pig butt, ideally heritage pork
- Various herbs and spices (complete list of ingredients below)
- Oversea Casings or LEM are natural hog casings.
For the potatoes
- 1 teaspoon dry rub Smokey Js BBQ Rub Me Tender was utilized.
What kind of meat works best?
Irish sausage was historically created from pork scraps to save waste, but like with everything in the culinary industry, your final product can only taste as good as its components.
For these Irish bangers, I suggest using heritage breed pork butt. Heritage pig is pasture-raised and frequently contains more and better fat, making the meat more delicious and juicy.
Pigs raised in factory farms are bred in less than ideal circumstances, resulting in extremely thin flesh.
Berkshire, Kurobuta, Red Wattle, and Duroc are some of my favorite heritage breeds.
The price rises in tandem with the rise in quality. If you don’t want to spend that much money on heritage pork, I usually suggest looking for pasture-raised pigs. This signifies that the animal was not confined to a tiny enclosure, but was instead able to wander freely.
If you can’t get this meat locally, you can always purchase it online from reliable meat dealers like Snake River Farms and Porter Road, to name a few.
Prepare your ingredients and grinder
When grinding beef, it’s critical to keep everything as cool as possible during the procedure. As the meat warms up, the fat begins to shred and render off, potentially clogging the grinder components.
Put the meat grinder pieces in the freezer with that in mind.
Trim any visible sinew from the pig butt and chop it into 1 by 4 strips, or whatever length works best in your grinder.
Place the meat on sheet trays in the freezer for 40-60 minutes, or until partly frozen.
Prepare your herbs and spices while the grinder and meat are in the freezer. For weight accuracy, a kitchen scale is recommended. Because of the variations in spice volume, I’ve discovered that correct weight outperforms teaspoon or tablespoon quantities while making sausages.
Weigh out your herbs and spices and prepare them for mise en place.
Grind the meat
Remove the meat from the freezer after it has thawed. In a large mixing basin, combine the meat and everything other ingredients except the stock. Mix everything together with your hands until it’s evenly dispersed.
1. Complete your first grind
Set up your grinder. Remove the pieces of the grinder from the freezer and place them on a firm tabletop. The meat will be ground twice, but you will use the same grinder plate for each. It is not necessary to use a finer plate for the second grind.
Grind the mixture once through a medium die, preferably a die plate. After the initial grind, emulsify the mixture and thoroughly blend the components with your hands.
2. Second grind
Run the emulsified mixture through the grinder a second time, working fast to keep everything cool.
After the second grind is finished, add the stock to the mixture and thoroughly mix everything together with your hands until the meat mixture becomes sticky and totally incorporated.
When the meat clings to your palm when flipped upside down, the mixture is ready to be fashioned into sausages.
Note: If the beef becomes oily and difficult to ground, it is too warm and the fat is breaking down, therefore return the meat mixture to the freezer. Allow everything to cool for 30-60 minutes before resuming grinding. This will keep your finished product from crumbling.
Stuff the casings
When the sausage mixture has completely emulsified, it is time to prepare the casings.
Assemble your stuffer or filling attachment and insert your casings. It helps to moisten the horn of the sausage stuffer to reduce friction and allow the casings to glide off smoothly as they fill.
Pack the stuffer with the loose sausage mixture to eliminate any air pockets. To allow air to escape, poke a tiny hole in the end of the casing with a knife or a sausage pricker, and then carefully feed the mixture through the stuffer and into the casing, taking care not to overstuff or break the casing. If you see any pockets of air, just puncture a tiny hole to allow it to escape.
When all of the meat has been placed into the casings, cut and knot the ends. You may either maintain the sausage in one huge loop like this or twist it into links of the appropriate length. I suggest three sausages per pound, or five to six inches each link.
Dry the sausages
You now have sausages after stuffing your casings! Though you could cook them now, it’s preferable to let the casings dry up in the fridge. Drying the sausages makes them firmer to the touch and easier to cook. Less moisture accumulates, resulting in a crisper snap when you bite into it.
Refrigerate the sausages for at least two hours and up to overnight on a sheet pan.
Smoke your sausages
While your sausages are drying, heat your smoker to 250°F using lump charcoal or your preferred heat source. When the coals are hot enough, add one piece of hickory and one chunk of apple.
Place the sausages on the racks after the smoke is clear and rolling. Allow 45-60 minutes for smoking.
You don’t want your sausages to be totally cooked in the smoker. This procedure is used to infuse the sausages with a slight smoke taste. I’ll finish them in a heavy-bottomed frying pan.
Prep the potatoes
While the sausages are smoking, prepare the potatoes. Because you don’t need to be as precise with your spices as you would with the sausages, we’re using tablespoons.
Preheat a separate grill or oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the young red potatoes in a basin with the rendered meat fat or oil to coat. Add the dry rub and use your hands to spread it evenly among the potatoes.
Place the potatoes in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed frying pan. Cook, covered, for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
Transfer the cooked potatoes to a basin or pan after removing the skillet from the grill or oven. Add the butter and cover until it begins to melt. Smash the potatoes and butter with a potato masher until they are broken up but not completely mashed. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Pan fry the sausages
Your sausages should be flavored with smoke by now. Preheat a cast iron skillet or a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat with 3 tablespoons rendered fat or oil. Brown the bangers on all sides in the pan, approximately 3 minutes each side.
Once the sausages are browned, add a cup of water and steam them until their internal temperature reaches 165°F. Keep adding water as required. Every few minutes, flip the sausages. You may speed up this procedure by covering the bangers.
The sausages will hiss and burst, knocking open parts of the casings as they brown in the frying pan, in true Irish banger form. This is very acceptable and anticipated, and it adds to the banger experience!
Eat and enjoy!
Plate the potatoes and a few links on top of the cooked bangers. You may serve with gravy and fresh herbs for flavor and appearance.
The fluffy potatoes complement the aromatic, meaty bangers. With this St. Patrick’s Day menu mainstay, your pals will be chanting your Oh Danny Boy to your acclaim!