Homemade Irish sausage is easier to make than you think, and they’re a little bit healthier when you’re making your own. Paired with onion stout gravy, these Irish sausages are the perfect alternative to corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day.
Food holidays are my favorite. I could skip Valentine’s Day and the fourth of July, although summer barbecue is never a bad thing. If there’s food involved, I want to celebrate. While I’m not obsessive over it, I do like to make something special each year for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not a big fan of corned beef, but I’ll definitely eat it – especially if it’s in taco form. But, I would really have more traditional Irish foods, like Irish stew or Irish sausage. This has hands down become my favorite, and I’m going to tell you exactly how to make it – from scratch.
I know there are plenty of Irish sausages available at major grocery stores around this time of year, but most of our stores don’t carry them. And, I honestly don’t know if I would buy them anyway after figuring out how easy it is to make Irish sausage at home.
What is Irish sausage made of?
I found the sausage recipe (that I adapted to make healthier) in my dad’s cookbook. But, I was still not 100% convinced that I wanted to use these ingredients until I did a decent amount of research to learn the difference between Irish sausage and British bangers. From what I learned, Irish people don’t actually use the term “bangers” even though it’s commonly used to refer to Irish sausage in America and other non-Irish places in the world. I also learned that it should have egg and this stuff called rusk – which is basically like a specialized breadcrumb.
What kind of sausage is an Irish banger?
Other than that, it’s just ground pork and some spices: garlic, all spice and sage. I opted to leave the lard out, because it’s lard, and there’s no reason to make something more fattening that it needs to be.
Obviously, I’m not making my own breadcrumbs. I’m also not stuffing my own sausage into casings, so I had to wing it. But, the result is phenomenal and it makes it very realistic for a normal person to make these at home. So, I used Panko breadcrumbs (they’re usually dairy free, but make sure to check your labels), and I free-formed the sausages into links. You can make your own decision here: links or patties. You could even do meatballs. For looks, I went with the links, but if I make them again, I’ll definitely be doing patties. They take way less time. And, if you make your sausage in advance, this recipe gets super easy.
How do you cook Irish sausage with onion stout gravy?
What really takes this recipe up a notch is the onion stout gravy, which is easier than ever to make. I know Guinness is everyone’s go-to for St. Patrick’s Day, but I tried a local coffee stout in this recipe, too and it was fantastic. Either way you want a good, dark beer for your stout gravy.
We had ours with mashed potatoes and we also tried them with baked potatoes (because they don’t make dishes). Both were good. Obviously, the mashed potatoes are way better for having gravy, but it’s your choice. The peas are a classic choice, but we also had our Irish sausages with my favorite seasonal vegetable – roasted asparagus. Either way, you’ll love these Irish sausages. You honestly won’t find a better choice for St. Patrick’s Day.
For the Irish sausage:
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
For the onion stout gravy:
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups stout beer*
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- In a large bowl, combine sausage ingredients and mix well.
- Separate meat mixture into 2 – 3 ounce portions and shape into sausage links or patties.
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high and brown sausage on all sides. Continue to cook until sausage has reached an internal temperature of 160˚F. Remove from pan and set aside. (Do not drain fat).
- Add onion, salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onions have softened – about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over cooking onions, stirring to coat.
- Pour in beer and broth, whisking to incorporate flour, until smooth. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium.
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until gravy has thickened.
- Return sausage to pan and bring back to temperature before serving.