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On a recent trip, I ate at an authentic Irish pub that served the best bangers and mash I've ever had. As there's nowhere around town that regularly serves the dish, I've decided to try my hand at making it at home. While I think I can manage the potatoes just fine, I'm at a loss as to what type of sausage to use. So my question is: what brand of sausage would best approximate a traditional recipe? Ideally, it would be something I could pick up at the local supermarket.

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    What I am about to say might upset the purists. This is a bit like gumbo and paella, there are so many claims of authentic recipes because there are genuinely many variations. Depending on where you have bangers and mash, it could vary hugely from a modern gastropub, through to school food and museum cafeteria. And it is not just the sausage, the mash and the gravy (onion or otherwise) ...
    – user110084
    May 13, 2017 at 15:19

5 Answers 5

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The good thing about Cumberland sausages is that the meat is supposed to be coarsely chopped and in of itself has a very high meat content. However, all good sausages have this quality also!

So in essence look for a sausage with a high meat content (80%+) and you can't go too far wrong.

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Personally I avoid supermarket sausages, but if its all you have then usually the premium range are usually alright. As Chad says, as long as its 80%+ meat then it should be OK.

I would strongly recommend finding a butcher, ideally one who makes his own sausage. Around me (Midlands, UK) this is fairly common. The specific variety doesn't actually matter that much (Irish, Cumberland and Lincolnshire are 3 of my favorites) but the quality does matter. Another source would be farmers markets. You can often get a good deal too if you buy in bulk. Simply freeze what you don't use.

Also make sure you cook them properly. Cook on a low heat on a cast iron grill pan and make sure you keep any juices that collect so you can make good gravy.

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Look for Cumberland sausage - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangers_and_mash

or, just ask the restaurant :-)

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the kind of sausage you use depends on what region/country style of meat you prefer. if you like pork with lots of fillers, more fat and less lean, then you want English style bangers. If you like a more lean pork with less fat and some lean beef with less fillers in it, then you want Irish style bangers. If you don't want pork at all and all lean beef with a moderate amount of fillers, then you want Scottish style bangers. keep in mind thou that bangers have a very distinctive taste to them and there is NO American equivilant to them. and definately do NOT use breakfast sausages since those are made with maple syrup and/or molasses and is waaay too sweet for onion gravy and mash potatoes. especially if you serve thim with the traditional side dish of mushy peas.

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If it was an authentic Irish dish, to follow tradition you would want medium-link pork Irish sausages, seasoned with salt, pepper, mace and nutmeg amongst other spices depending on the recipe. Cumberland sausages originate in England, so if the pub was truly trying to recreate Irish dishes I doubt if these were the ingredient being used.

If you want to get as close as possible to the original, I'd suggest going to a local butcher and explaining your predicament. They will have a number of sausage recipes on rotation, and may be able to make you a small batch. Most butchers take considerable pride over their sausages, and the quality is generally better than the supermarket offerings.

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