Try as I might I just couldn’t seem to get this recipe for Bratwurst Bangers with Onion Gravy out before St. Paddy’s day, although this was our early “celebration” dinner. Well, maybe you’re celebrating over the weekend or maybe you just want this comfort food any time of the year! I vote for any time for this easy pub-style meal!
This recipe is, of course, a nod to the British/Irish Bangers & Mash, sausages cooked with onion gravy and served with mashed potatoes. Talk about comfort food! I understand you’ll find this much-beloved dish served in homes and in pubs all over Great Britain and Ireland and I can attest you’ll find it here in the States, too. And now, at my house.
About Bratwurst Bangers with Onion Gravy:
Bangers & Mash can be made with several different types of sausage. Now as you can imagine, it’s not always easy to find an Irish sausage, and especially not on a budget. These days though, more brands are jumping on the wagon and even Johnsonville makes a garlicky version of an Irish sausage (although I’ve yet to see them in any store I frequent.) So I was inspired to try this recipe with Bratwurst when I saw Chef Robert Irving make his version on Restaurant Impossible. Heck, if Robert Irving can use Brats, well, so can I, and of course, so can you, amirite?!
I was inspired by Robert Irving’s recipe in other ways, too. I added a little cream to my onion gravy which just kinda takes it over the top, and I couldn’t resist serving the dinner with a Spring Pea Puree just like he did.
Of course, for serving, mashed potatoes are a must! Since the gravy uses a little cream and so do the peas, why not the rest into your mashed potatoes? I’d opt for my Best Company Mashed Potatoes or if you have an Instant Pot, these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes. And if you don’t want to go with the Spring Pea Puree, either just plain old buttered peas or steamed green beans would be other easy options.
Making Bratwurst Bangers with Onion Gravy:
This recipe is really super simple. I like to saute the brats to get a little color on them, and while that’s going on, the onions can be prepped. Cutting them in half lengthwise and then across, thinly, to form half-moons, works great. If you want you can finely dice your onion and it will show less prominently in the gravy.
Once the sausages are browned up, set them aside, toss a little butter in the pan and cook the onions (with a touch of sugar to help them brown and a smidge of thyme for flavor) for about 15 minutes until they’re nicely browned and caramelized. Starting that process with a lid gives you a head start on the cooking and you’ll only have to stir every now and then. Once most of the moisture is gone, take off the lid and stir more often.
Then just make your gravy right on top of the onions. Toss in the flour and stir it around for several minutes so it can lose that “raw” taste, then bit by bit, stirring like crazy, add in the beef stock and then the cream. Bring to a simmer, add the brats back in to finish cooking, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or so, turning the brats now and then and cooking until the gravy looks right to you. Some people like it their gravy a little thinner (that’s me!) and some a little thicker so you do you. Remember, the gravy will thicken just a little more once it is no longer molten hot! When it’s nearly finished, add a little Worcestershire, then taste the gravy and adjust the salt and pepper.
You’ll want to know that this recipe makes a generous amount of gravy (because we love lots) and uses a standard five-pack of brats. You can easily stretch this to feed more people by simply adding in more brats. If you have leftovers, you can stretch that meal by cutting the brats into coins and divvying them up as needed.
Saving Money on Bratwurst Bangers with Onion Gravy:
If you shop the specials for your sausage, this can be a very inexpensive meal. Bonus, too that sausage freezes very well and the packages are compact and don’t take up too much room in the freezer. I tend to stock up in the summer and fall when the sales are great but you’ll find specials throughout the year. This sausage, for instance, was two for one, and like so many sales on sausage, included other varieties, too, so brats were not my only option for saving.
Right before St. Patrick’s day is a great time to find specials on items like carrots, cabbage, and onion as well, along with a surprising number of items driven by the holiday. See my post on Saving on St. Patrick’s Day. If you’d like to see other recipes that are Irish, Irish American, or just kinda close, check out my recipes rounded up with links on this Irish Collection Page.Print
Bratwurst Bangers with Onion Gravy
- Cook Time: 30 to 40 minutes
- Total Time: 26 minute
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 5 Bratwurst (1 package – may use more)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium onions, fine dice or thin slices pole to pole
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup cream cream
- a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
- salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium sauté pan over high heat, add the oil and sear sausages on both sides. Set sausages aside. Turn the heat down to medium and to the pan, add butter, onions, sugar, and thyme. Place a cover on the pot and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, watching so it doesn’t burn. When most of the liquid is gone remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to brown and caramelize.
Add flour and stir in and cook for three to four minutes, stirring constantly. Add beef stock bit by bit, stirring, and bring the stock to a boil. Add heavy cream. Add the seared brats back to the pan, turn down to a simmer and allow to simmer several minutes (about 10 or so) turning the the brats now and then until the brats have cooked through and the gravy has thickened to the desired state. Season to taste with Worcestershire, salt, and lots of black pepper.