Bangers and mash, a traditional dish of the United Kingdom often served in pub style restaurants, consists of sausages, mashed boiled potatoes, and is usually topped with a rich gravy.
While the “mash” portion of the dish is pretty easy to figure out, the term “bangers” used to describe the sausage component has quite an interesting backstory.
This odd name used to describe these British sausages actually dates back to the early 20th century, during the time of World War I. Sausages were seen as a popular dish for the British working class, however, after the outbreak of the war, meat was in seriously short supply. In order to continue production and to get by on what meat they did have, cheap fillers and a high amount of water were used in the sausages which caused them to pop and explode rather violently in the cooking pan, giving them the name “bangers.”
Today, British bangers are one of the UK’s most popular meat-based dishes. With no shortage of meat as there was during World War I, the sausages are made with high quality meats like pork or beef and come in many different varieties and flavors. In fact, there are approximately 470 different sausage recipes and flavors prepared by butchers throughout the entire United Kingdom.
Here are a few fun facts about British bangers that you may not know!
- Sausages are thought to have been first introduced to Great Britain by the Romans circa 400 A.D.
- Under the rule of King Charles I, sausages were divided into links for the first time; with the exception of the traditional Cumberland sausages which are never separated into links.
- Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1876, was particularly fond of sausages but made the tedious request that the meat used be hand chopped rather than minced.
- Bangers are consumed more frequently on Saturdays in the UK than any other day of the week.
- There is a society in England dedicated entirely to sausages – the British Sausage Appreciation Society, which hosts British Sausage Week every year!
- The most popular sausages in the UK are made with pork. Some popular varieties include Cumberland, Lincolnshire (flavored with fresh sage), Pork and Apple, Pork and Leek, and Pork and Herb.
- Costing 20 British Pounds, equivalent to about 28 US Dollars, the most expensive sausage ever was made from Fillet steak with Champagne and truffles.
- In the year 2014, Britons spent an estimated 780 million British Pounds, or just over 1.1 trillion US dollars, on sausages alone!
Next time you stop into Noble Hops, try our version of British style Bangers & Mash! We top this dish with a delicious rich gravy, made by our saucier. It is made with beef bone, vegetables, red wine and tomato sauce. Slow cooked for three days, the bone is then removed and all ingredients are blended together. We are left with what the French call a demi-glace; which fits perfectly with Noble’s take on bangers and mash!