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Dublin Coddle

4 pounds  
2-1/2+ hr
An excellent light but very flavorful stew, inexpensive and easy to make in advance. In Ireland it is more a city dish than a country dish. The name "Coddle" means cooked very gently, which it has to be if you use Russet potatoes (see Note-3). For method see Note-6. This dish reheats very well, if you use the right potatoes.


Bacon (1)
Sausages (2)  
Potatoes (3)
Carrots (4)
Stock (5)
Bay Leaf
Thyme sprig
-- Serve With
Soda Bread
Prep   -   (40 min)
  1. Cut BACON, if rashers, to half width and about 2 inches long. If ends and pieces, about 1/8 inch thick by whatever works.
  2. Quarter ONIONS lengthwise and slice medium crosswise.
  3. Peel CARROTS. Cut into lengths of 1 to 1-1/2 inches.
  4. Peel POTATOES and cut into largish chunks, 1 to 1-1/2 inches on a side. Hold in cold water until needed.
  5. Chop PARSLEY small.
Run   -   (1-3/4+ hr, depending)
  1. put about 1/16th inch of Water in a heavy skillet and stir in Bacon. Fry stirring over moderate heat until water has evaporated and until the first hint of becoming crisp. Drain bacon well, holding the fat aside.
  2. With about 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat in the skillet, fry the onions, stirring until they are translucent. Remove from the skillet.
  3. Pierce Sausages all over with a fork (if you know they will exude fat, some sausages exude none). Place them in the skillet with about 1/4 inch of Water. Bring to a boil and hold at a light boil, tumbling the sausages now and then until the water has evaporated and the Sausages start to fry. If needed, add some of the bacon fat. Fry until lightly browned all over. Remove from the pan, cut them into lengths between 1 and 1-1/2 inches or as desired (some recipes leave them whole, but that would be disastrous for buffet service).
  4. Drain Potatoes. Place All Ingredients in a suitable stew pot (for stovetop) or in a heavy Dutch oven (for oven). Bring to a boil and cover tightly. Simmer very slowly until potatoes are quite tender (20 to 30 minutes on stovetop) or in the oven (see Note-6).
  5. Serve with Irish soda bread and Guinness.
  1. Bacon:   This can be thick rashers, or ends and pieces of best quality smoked bacon.
  2. Sausage:   This should be a best quality pure pork sausage with a thin natural casing. Preferably it should be store made for quality. Since most English / Irish sausages available here contain bread, I used fresh bratwurst from a local sausage maker. For details see our Sausages page.
  3. Potatoes:   The Irish will eat only russet potatoes - even during the blight they wouldn't plant any other kind. I, however, am not Irish, and I want a potato that's a little more durable for buffet service and reheating, so I use White Rose, an "all purpose" potato. Avoid Yukon Gold type potatoes because they disintegrate into mush if cooked just a little long or reheated, and they aren't in any way Irish. For details see our Potatoes page.
  4. Carrots: Many recipes do not include carrots, but of those, some of their accompanying photos show carrots. Photos that don't match the recipe seem to be a British / Indian tradition. Anyway, I feel they improve the flavor.
  5. Stock: Most recipes call for ham stock, but most realize ham stock is unlikely to be available and allow beef or chicken stock. A good number of recipes on the Internet allow bouillon cubes (apparently "stock cubes" in Irish).
  6. Method:   Most recipes call for layering the prepared ingredients in a casserole with the Potatoes on top, then bringing to a boil on the stove top. Next cover tightly and cook in the oven at 325°F/165°C for about 3 hours (I haven't tried it this way). Of course, the Irish didn't have stoves with ovens until very recently, so this would have been cooked in a Bastable Oven (see Photo Gallery) set in hot hearth embers, with more hot embers poured on top. Here in Sunny Southern California we don't have hearth embers, and we don't fire up an oven unless we really need to, so I cook this entirely on the stove top at a very low simmer. Doing the pot cooking in a slow cooker would also work very well, but would take a lot longer. A good compromise is to bring it to a boil on the stovetop, then pour into the slow cooker it will be served from to finish.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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