I grew up Catholic, and back in the day, it was considered a “no-no” to eat before Mass. So you’d get up, wash and brush and find your church shoes and load up in the car. Sometime between the homily and communion, your stomach would start growling. During the last hymn, you’d be fidgeting in the pew, aching to get out. Then you’d pack back up in the car, drive home and WAIT FOR SUNDAY DINNER! By that time you’d be STARVING!
I’ve got a hunch that dishes like this Dublin Coddle were invented for just this occasion. You can put it together, put it in a low oven or crock pot, and leave it alone for hours at a time. When you’re ready, it’s ready.
Like the Irish Stew recipe I posted recently, this dish has as many variations as there are mothers in Ireland. I like this one from my Facebook friend, James Aker. I did swap organic bouillon granules and spices for the Lipton onion soup mix that he originally called for, and I cook it in an oven instead on the stovetop – but otherwise it’s the same.
It’s important to use good quality sausage – cheap stuff just doesn’t hold up well with the long cooking time.
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 1 pound good quality pork sausage (I used sweet Italian sausage)
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
(In place of 1 packet Lipton onion soup mix, I used:)
- 2 TBL organic beef bouillon granules
- 1/4 tsp parsley flakes
- 1/8 tsp celery seed
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 1 small bunch fresh herbs (“bouquet garni”), tied together with string (I used thyme and parsley)
- Black pepper and Salt
- 1 bottle hard cider (some for the pot, some for you)
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Mix together the bouillon, parsley, celery seed, paprika and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Brown bacon until crisp. Place in large cooking pot with a lid.
- Brown sausages in bacon fat. Add to cooking pot.
- Sprinkle bouillon mixture over meats.
- Add two cups water.
- Soften sliced onions in the bacon fat. A minute or two before they’re done, add the garlic and stir around. Add to cooking pot.
- Layer carrots next, then potatoes.
- Add the bundle of herbs and push down into the middle.
- Add hard cider just to reach the potatoes (should only be another cup or two).
- Sprinkle potatoes with freshly ground black pepper.
- On the stovetop, cover tightly and bring JUST to a simmer. It should not boil.
- While bringing to a simmer, preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Place covered pot in the oven and bake for 2-3 hours. Even 4 hours isn’t too long, if you check after the 2-hour mark and add more liquid if needed. There should always be at least 1 inch of liquid in the pot. (Hint – toward the end, a splash of Guinness wouldn’t be unheard-of.)
- Half an hour before you want to eat, check and make sure the carrots are done. If they aren’t, raise the heat a bit until they are cooked through. By now, broth should have thickened enough that you can serve this on a plate. Taste broth right before serving and add salt or pepper, if needed. Garnish with parsley. Great served with Irish soda bread or Spotted Dog.