Cumberland Bangers & Mash consists of Cumberland sausages served with mashed potatoes and onion gravy. Traditionally served in pubs, a survey a few years ago ranked it as Britain’s most popular comfort food.
During WWI, and becoming even more widespread during WWII, the term bangers surfaced when meat rations were low and sausages had to be made with inexpensive fillers like rusk or breadcrumbs. Large amounts of water would result in the sausages bursting with a “bang” when fried. “Bangers” stuck and has continued to be used ever since.
A regional speciality for over 500 years, Cumberland sausages are probably the most famous of British sausages. The meat is chopped rather than minced, giving a distinct taste and a coarse texture.
Cumberlands are such a treasure of the British sausage producing industry that they were granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in 2011, helping to protect its heritage and authenticity in a world of fake sausages from overseas.
More information on British sausages can be found at A Guide to British Sausages.
Cumberland Bangers and Mash
For the Mash
- 1 kg Potatoes peeled Maris Piper
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 Egg yolk
For the Sausages
- 8 Cumberland sausages
- Olive oil
For the Mash
- Chop the potatoes into 2.5cm chunks.
- Add the potatoes to a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Add a knob of butter, a splash of milk, salt and pepper to taste, and the egg yolk.
- Mash the potato until smooth and creamy with no lumps.
For the sausages
- In a frying pan over medium heat add a splash of olive oil and fry the sausages for 10 minutes turning regularly to brown on all sides.