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The Leprechaun’s Made Me Do It: Homemade Primal Bangers & Mash

Posted Mar 16 2013 1:16pm

I grew up with most of my friends having one of three ethnic backgrounds—Irish being one of them.  Since my ancestry doesn’t contain any Irish (I’m ½ Polish and ½ French-Canadian), St. Patrick’s Day was never really a big event in my house growing up like it was my friends’ houses.

However, now that I am married to The Hubs whose family is 100% ancestry, I am considered de facto Irish.  And now that we have kids I am quickly learning there is more to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day than just eating corned beef and cabbage.  Apparently the kooky leprechauns come and turn some food item green…that means I need to get my hands on some green food coloring for the occasion.  The Hubs has already set the bar pretty high thanks to his stories of when he was a kid and the antics my mother-in-law blamed on those pesky leprechauns—she was far more creative than I was going to be (umm, hello injecting green food coloring into a white potato so that when the kids cut it up it was green!?!).

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Primal Irish Bangers & Mash

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Primal Irish Bangers & Mash

So between now and Sunday I need to come up with something clever.  Any ideas?!  I digress, while I contemplated the potential shenanigans that would play out in my house on Sunday, I also contemplated making my own Irish bangers and mash!  I have never had bangers and mash before—frankly the name of the dish had previously skeeved me out for some reason.  In doing a bit of research however, I found out the reasoning behind their name.  The story goes that in the years proceeding World War I and World War II, the meat rations were fairly scarce in the UK and as a result of the need to stretch it as far as they could, fillers of day-old breads and cereals were added to the mixture along with water.  Due to the added filler in the mixture, the sausages tended to explode from their casings under high heat.

Armed with that story, and my determination to do something a little different than the typical corned beef and cabbage most Irish-Americans do (plus wanting to try out my new meat grinder and sausage stuffer), I thought I’d give making my own Primal Bangers & Mash a shot.  Not eating grains, I decided to try subbing out the ground rusk that is in most recipes with equal parts coconut flour as I know that coconut flour tends to absorb liquid easily.  Additionally, I opted to use chicken stock instead of just water for some additional flavor.  Lastly, I used leaf lard in my mixture.  My various readings on sausage making indicated that a roughly 3:1 ratio of meat to fat provided for the most flavorful sausages.  Since pork fat back was not available at the farmer’s market last week, I talked to my CSA farmer, Pat of Pat’s Pastured, and he indicated that leaf lard would be an excellent substitute for sausages.  In the end, I have no idea if what I made is even close to a traditional Irish banger, but what I do know is that it was tasty and making my own sausage was pretty darn fun and I’m looking forward to trying my hand at some Polish kielbasa in the future!




Fit Moms & Full Plates: Primal Irish Bangers & Mash

Fit Moms & Full Plates: Primal Irish Bangers & Mash

Homemade Primal Irish Bangers and Mash


“Primal Bangers”

  • 3-pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 1-pound leaf lard
  • ½-cup coconut flour
  • 1-cup chicken stock
  • 1-teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon, fresh ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground sage
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 lengths natural hog casing


  • 2-rutabagas, peeled and cubed
  • 2-celery roots, peeled and cubed
  • 1-small white potato, peeled and cubed*
  • 2-cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*I know white potatoes are not technically considered Paleo or Primal , however, I did decide to use a small one as it provided just a tiny bit of extra starchiness to the mash that it was missing with the rutabagas and celery root.  You can easily leave it out or sub a sweet potato here.


For the Bangers:  Make sure that your meat and fat is very well chilled as it processed better through the meat grinder.  Cut it into small pieces that are just larger enough for it to fit through your meat grinder. Follow your meat grinder’s instructions.  I processed it twice, once with the large grind and second with the small grind for a finer mix.

Chill your ground meat for 1 hour prior to added the seasoning.  When sufficiently chilled, add the flour, stock, and seasoning and mixing well to incorporate.  You can fry up a small portion of the meat and taste it for seasoning level and adjust here if necessary to your taste.  Chill for 30-minutes.

Follow the instructions for your sausage casings—mine came packed in salt.  I needed to soak and rinse in warm water for at least 30-minutes prior to stuffing.  I also used coconut oil to lubricate the nozzle prior to loading the casing onto the stuffer.  Tie a knot at the base of the casing and begin to slowly add the mixture to the hopper, carefully following the instructions of your stuffer.  I used a stock pot to catch the stuffed sausage as it extruded. I also did not twist into links until the length of the casing was completed.  When stuffed, chill in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to use.  I pan fried mine in coconut oil.  Be careful not to stuff too tightly as they WILL explode—mine sure did!

For the Mash:  Boil your peeled and cubed veg and garlic.  Drain and mash—salt and pepper to taste.

I served my Bangers and Mash along with roasted balsamic, bacon Brussels sprouts—I will blog that later this week.

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