A taste of Ireland
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
I don’t harbor any ill will toward corned beef and cabbage, but with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I was looking for a recipe that wasn’t focused on the tried-and-true duo.
The options abounded. Colcannon—basically mashed potatoes with plenty of greens like kale or cabbage and tons of butter—sounded delicious, as did champ, another potato dish that is also enriched with scallions and bacon.
Liner notes for a fried cabbage and bacon recipe pointed out that bacon is the “big meat” in Ireland, not American corned beef, which is why much of what I found on my internet search included pork.
Which brings me to Dublin Coddle, a traditional Irish dish that uses up leftover red meat that can’t be eaten by Catholics on Fridays. The “coddling” slowly braises leftovers such as bangers, rashers, potatoes and onions, and is meant to be left on the stove to simmer for hours. Apparently, when men stay out late at the pub, coming home to a still-warm bowl of coddle ensures they’ll have something in their stomach to soak up the booze. (Incidentally, it’s also renowned for being a hangover cure.)
I chose a crock pot version of the stew, and left it to cook throughout the late morning and into early evening. It was an unseasonably warm afternoon, and by the time we came in from a day of muscle-wrenching yard work, the house was infused with a savory scent that had us reaching for bowls and toasting giant slabs of Avenue Bread sourdough to dunk in the mix.
“I could eat this all day,” my hungry helpmate said as he spooned up a second serving of the meat-filled mix. “No coddling required.”
Irish Dublin Coddle
9 strips of bacon
6 large potatoes
2 large carrots
2 medium onions
1 beef stock cube
Herbs to taste (I added thyme, sage and garlic powder)
Add one cup of water to your crock pot and turn it on high.
Drop in the beef stock cube and stir until it dissolves.
Chop your bacon and fry it in a large skillet. Slice the sausage how you would prefer—in half or fourths.
Add the sausage to the frying bacon. Cut your onions into rounds and add them into the sausage and bacon; fry until translucent.
Peel, rinse and cut your potatoes into large chunks. Cut up your carrots. Once the meat and onions are through cooking add them into the crock pot. Top with the potatoes and carrots.
Put the lid on the crock pot and cook at high (four hours) or low setting (eight hours) until done.
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