In my search to find some good traditional Irish recipes to try over the past couple of weeks, I came across a dish called Dublin Coddle. If you're familiar with coddled eggs, which are cooked slowly and gently in a liquid just below the boiling point, you probably got the gist of this dish. Potatoes, onions, good pork sausage, and bacon are layered and cooked together gently to make a sort of stew that is basic - in the best of ways.
It's said that an Irish wife could leave a pot simmering on the stove for hours when she went to bed, that way it would be ready when her husband arrived home hungry from the pub. It's also one of those dishes that tastes better after sitting for a day, allowing all of the flavors to mingle and develop. A coddle was a good way to use up stray sausages and rashers of bacon on a Thursday in times when Catholics weren't supposed to eat meat on Fridays.
There's not much I love more than a good dish of comfort food...what some might call peasant food. A few simple ingredients seasoned only with salt, pepper, and a handful of parsley if you have it. The flavorful broth can be mopped up with some soda bread, the whole thing washed down with a pint.
My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn check out from the library right now, and it has instructions for making your own Irish bacon using pork loin. But I wanted to make the Dublin Coddle right then and that took a little time to cure. So, I used streaky bacon, which more than anything meant some advanced cooking and fat draining before putting the whole dish on to cook.
I've got my mind set on making some Irish bacon at home, and I'll make this dish with it once I finally do. But don't skip it if you only have streaky bacon, because it's a bowl of comfort food at its finest. I served it with a dark beer and some Irish soda bread for mopping up the flavorful juices at the bottom of the bowl.
This traditional Irish stew is made from a few simple ingredients that fill your belly and your soul. Dublin Coddle is comfort food to the core.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Keywords: entree soup/stew onions bacon potatoes sausage Irish
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound flavorful pork sausages (I used garlicky Irish sausages)
- 4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick slices (1 1/2-2 inches)
- 2 large onions, thickly sliced
- small handful chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups ham stock (or chicken or beef)
- freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Cook the bacon in a large casserole dish or Dutch oven (about 5-6 quarts, stovetop and oven safe) until just cooked through. Lift out and set on a plate for now. Pour out the grease. Add the sausages to the pan and brown on all sides; lift out and set on the plate with the bacon. If there is any more than a thin film of grease in the pan, pour it out.
Lay the onions in a layer on the bottom of the same dish, then scatter with some of the parsley and grind a good amount of black pepper over it. Add the bacon and sausages in an even layer over that, repeat parsley and pepper. Finish by layering the potatoes over the top, and finishing with the remaining parsley and more pepper. Pour the stock over everything.
Set over a high flame and bring to a boil, then put on the lid and transfer to your preheated oven. Cook for 90 minutes, checking liquid levels once in a while and adding more stock or water if necessary (it probably won't be). There should be about an inch of liquid at the bottom of the pot at all times.
After you take it out of the oven, check seasoning and adjust as needed - more than likely, you won't need to add any salt as the bacon, sausages, and probably the stock will have added salt.
Serve hot with crusty bread or craggly soda bread to mop up the juices.
- Irish Central, A Traditional Irish Cold Weather Treat
- Coddle on Wikipedia
- A Kiss and a Coddle
- British Food in America, A Note About Dublin Coddle
- Our-Ireland.com, Irish Coddle or Dublin Coddle
- Edible Ireland, Dublin Coddle
- The Mother Irish: Dublin Coddle