Bangers and mash, also known as sausages and mash, is a traditional dish of the British Isles made of sausages and mashed potatoes, and may consist of one of a variety of flavoured sausages made of pork, lamb, or beef (often specifically Cumberland sausage [1]). The dish is sometimes served with onion gravy, fried onions, or peas.

Bangers and mash served with peas

This dish, even when cooked at home, may be thought of as an example of pub grub, meaning it is relatively quick and easy to make in large quantities.[1] More up-market varieties, with exotic sausages and mashes, are sold in gastropubs, with less sophisticated alternatives being available in regular public houses (pubs).


Although it is sometimes stated that the term "bangers" has its origins in World War II, the term was actually in use at least as far back as 1919.[2] The term "bangers" is attributed (in common usage in the UK) to the fact that sausages made during World War I, when there were meat shortages, were made with such a high water content that they were more liable to pop under high heat when cooked.[1][3] The contraction of "mashed potato" to "mashed" rather than "mash" was common among the upper-middle and upper classes in Britain up to the mid Twentieth Century, and was an example of U and non-U English.

In popular culture

  • Peter Sellers recorded a song with Sophia Loren, "Bangers and Mash" (1961), extolling their virtues: "No wonder you're so bony Joe, and skinny as a rake. Well then, give us a bash at the bangers and mash me mother used to make".[4]
  • In chapter 6 of "All Things Wise and Wonderful", James Herriot wrote an episode in which the cook of their bachelor household went on holiday, and Tristan Farnon could only cook sausages and mash. Everyone else in the household became heartily sick of it.
  • Radiohead have a song called "Bangers + Mash" from the bonus disc available with a special edition of In Rainbows.
  • One of the dishes that Nancy Drew can order in Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor is bangers and mash.
  • Life Sentence (TV series) Season 1, Episode 2 "Re-Inventing the Abbotts" Stella Abbott finds out that her husband, Wes Charles, favorite meal is bangers and mash. She then proceeds to make the dish.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Bangers and Mash". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ "banger, n.4". The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 6 April 2007. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Jane Fryer (2010-09-06). "Why ARE sausages called bangers? And what on earth's Caesar got to do with salad? The fascinating origins of our favourite dishes". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2017-09-28. 
  4. ^ Unterberger, Richie "Peter and Sophia". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 April 2014.

External links