Bangers and Mash is the food equivalent of a snuggly Irish wool blanket! This spin on a traditional recipe features quick, gluten-free sausage and a buttery colcannon mash on the side.
What is Colcannon?
It’s a warm, creamy mash-up of potatoes, kale or cabbage, leeks, and plenty of butter.
There are other cabbage and potato dishes to be found across Europe – in France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Scotland, and more – but Irish colcannon just might be the best. Often eaten with boiled ham or Irish bacon, it’s filling, nutritious, economical, and comforting everything you want in a comfort food dish.
When is Bangers and Mash Eaten?
Here in the United States, colcannon is often eaten around St. Patrick’s Day when we celebrate all things Éire. But in Ireland itself, colcannon is especially popular around Halloween. According to tradition, a plain gold ring, a sixpence, and a thimble or button should be hidden in the dish of colcannon.
How to Make Gluten-Free Bangers and Mash
This recipe uses white potatoes as a base, but if they’re not on the menu for you right now, you can easily substitute the same amount of cauliflower or parsnips.
You’ll boil the potatoes and melt down the veggies. Then, you’ll mash the potatoes and stir everything together. Delish!
To make the bangers, combine ground pork with spices and herbs, then mix and create sausage-like shapes. Fry them up to a golden brown. No egg or bread crumbs are required.
Recipe Substitutions for Bangers and Mash
It’s traditional to use butter for its luscious flavor, but you could also use pastured lard instead. Or, if butter works for you, choose a grass-fed brand instead of ghee. Finally, the homemade bangers are fast and easy, but if you want to simplify even more, replace the homemade sausage with your favorite gluten-free brand.
For a tasty end to this dinner, try my Irish Coffee Chia Parfaits.
Bangers and Mash (Gluten-Free)
Bangers and Mash is the food equivalent of a snuggly Irish wool blanket! This adaptation features gluten-free sausage and buttery colcannon mash on the side.
- 2 lb potatoes russet or Yukon gold
- 1 tbsp salt
- 6 tbsp ghee or butter
- 2 leeks white and pale-green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 cups chopped cabbage lightly packed, or kale, chard, or other leafy green
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 green onions green and white, thinly sliced
- 2 lb ground pork
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch cloves
- 1 tsp dried tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tbsp dried chives
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Boil the potatoes. Wash and peel the potatoes. Place them in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and add the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes, until a paring knife slides easily through the flesh.
- Make the bangers. In a large bowl, combine the pork, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, tarragon, parsley, chives, and garlic. Mix well with your hands to combine. Mix the water, cream of tartar, and baking soda in a small bowl and add to the meat, then mix again. Divide the meat into 12-15 equal-sized portions and lightly roll each into a sausage shape. Try not to pack the meat too tightly.
- Cook the bangers. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat, about 2 minutes. Add the bangers to the pan, making sure they don’t touch. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally for even browning, until pleasantly caramelized.
- Cook the greens. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside. In the pot you used to cook the potatoes, heat 4 tablespoons of the ghee, 2 minutes, then add the leeks and sauté until tender and golden, 7-10 minutes. Add half the cabbage and sauté 2 minutes, then add the remaining cabbage, cooking and stirring frequently until wilted. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Mash it up. Add the potatoes and pepper to the pan with the cabbage and coarsely mash the whole lot with a potato masher. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer mash to a serving dish and top with remaining 2 tablespoons ghee and the sliced scallions, then arrange the bangers on top.
The homemade bangers are pretty fast and easy, but if you want to simplify even more, replace the homemade sausage with your favorite gluten-free commercial brand.
This recipe collaboration comes to you courtesy of Mel Joulwan and myself. For three years, we collaborated on a column in Paleo Magazine that featured food from around the world. This recipe featured in the February / March 2017 issue.