Thursday, March 16, 2017


St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner and even though I am not of Irish descent, each year I make a traditional "Irish - American" meal of corned beef and cabbage Don't they say that everyone is Irish on St. Paddy's Day? Most of us associate corned beef and cabbage as a typical Irish meal because it's a popular dinner eaten on that celebratory day however, it is not a meal customary to Ireland. Instead of corned beef and cabbage, the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal eaten in Ireland is lamb or bacon. (salted pork ) It wasn't until the late 19th century that Irish American immigrants used corned beef as a substitute for bacon since it was an inexpensive alternative thus starting a new American St. Paddy's day tradition.

 This year, I decided to make something more traditionally Irish. I looked at a  few books on Irish cooking from our vast cookbook collection and chose a recipe from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook by Christine McFadden. Dublin Coddle. A bacon, sausage,onion and potato stew that has been a favorite in Dublin since the seventeenth century. The photo of the soupy stew in the book helped me to decide. Yum...cold weather comfort food. I just happened to have most of the ingredients on hand. That, coupled with a cold, snowy weekend convinced me to try a stab at it and I assure you, it was worth the effort.

Warning: it is not considered a diet dish. It starts with a pound of bacon! Don't worry....if it makes you feel better, you can choose to prepare it as a special treat for St. Patrick's Day....once a year!

Feeling a tinge of guilt, I chose to broil 1/4 of what the recipe called for and the stew was still very flavorful. I can't imagine if I used a pound of bacon! It is a hearty dish that will stick to your ribs. A comfort food for a winter's day and as I decided for can always start your diet tomorrow.

Dublin Coddle

1 lb of bacon strips ( I only used 1/4 lb)
8 good quality pork sausages
4 onions sliced
black pepper
1 leek sliced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme 
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves chopped
6 starchy potatoes peeled and cut into 2 or 3 large chunks
3 cups ham or chicken stock 
soda bread to serve

Preheat the broiler to high and preheat oven to 300 degrees. Broil the bacon for 7-8 minutes, until just starting to crisp. Drain on paper towels, slice in half widthwise and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sausages and cook, turning for about 15 minutes, until evenly browned. If necessary, use a little bacon fat to prevent the sausages from sticking. Remove the sausages from the skillet, slice in half widthwise and set aside.

Using the same skillet, gently cook the onions for 7 minutes, until soft but not colored.

Layer the onions, sausages and bacon in the bottom of a flameproof casserole dish, seasoning each layer with plenty of black pepper.  Add the leek, herbs and garlic and finish with a layer of potatoes. Season with a little more black pepper, then pour in the stock.

Layer the onions, bacon and sausage add herbs, leeks and lots of fresh black pepper

Add potatoes, sprinkle with more black pepper and add the chicken stock

Cover the casserole dish tightly and bring to a boil on top of the stove. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Serve with chunks of soda bread to mop up the juices.


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