Chow Town

Celebrate the Irish with bangers & smash on St. Patrick’s Day

If you didn’t plan ahead to slow smoke corned beef at home for several hours, try getting a smoked corned beef Reuben at Crazy Good Eats, Q39, Blind Box or RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack today before they sell out.

Grilled bangers with smashed potatoes are a perfect St. Patrick’s Day last-minute option.

Bangers can be grilled in a matter of minutes. Likewise, new potatoes can be boiled until tender in a few minutes.

A contentious topic among banger aficionados is English Bangers vs. Irish Bangers. No question that both are sausages. In the USA, many regard English and Irish bangers as the same. Banger aficionados, however, point to distinct differences in fillers and seasonings. Still others insist that there’s no such thing as Irish Bangers. Oxymoron or similar but not exactly the same: Who cares on St. Patrick’s Day? Why not enjoy a classic smoked Reuben for lunch and grilled bangers for dinner — or vice versa?

For easy homestyle Bangers & Smash, try this:

Get English Bangers at Werner’s Fine Sausages or Irish Bangers at Broadway Butcher Shop or Costco, 1 or 2 per serving. Make sure you have sufficient fuel on hand for your grill. Get red-skinned new potatoes, 3 or 4 per serving, and Irish cheddar or other cheddar, about  1/4 cup per serving, grated, plus Irish or American butter, salt & pepper.

Grill bangers over direct heat, turning frequently, until done. No problem if they “bang,” i.e., burst. That’s how they got their name. Seasoned grillmasters avoid banger bursts by turning the sausages frequently and moving them back and forth from hot zone to cool zone until done.

Boil potatoes until tender; drain, place in a bowl; smash with the bottom of a drinking glass.

Plate individual servings with one or two grilled bangers and serve with mustard, ballpark mustard, ketchup or a favorite barbecue sauce. Boulevard Irish Ale goes well with bangers and smash.

Note: mashed potatoes are the traditional banger pairing. Smashed potatoes are a tasty alternative. Grilled carrots are a tasty colorful addition.

Grill safely, eat and drink responsibly — and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!