St. Patrick’s Day was months ago, but that’s no reason to abandon Irish food until next year. Especially if you have a small, hungry army to feed — Irish cooking relies on hearty foods with elegantly simple preparations. Potatoes are just the beginning.
One traditional dish that gets little notice stateside is Dublin coddle, a comforting, one-pot stew of potatoes and pork. It’s great for a big Sunday dinner or to share at a potluck, and it comes together quite easily.
First off, you’ll need a large, cast-iron Dutch oven, or a similarly heavy, oven-safe pot. While the oven warms, you’ll use the pot to get started on your meats.
A word: Irish meats are different from American ones. If you can get your hands on some genuine Irish pork sausages and bacon, definitely use those. But if not — and this will likely be the case — uncooked bratwurst or another quality pork sausage will do, as will thick-cut American bacon.
First, render slices of bacon in the pot, but just a little. Ten minutes or so should be enough. Remove and reserve all but a couple of tablespoons of the bacon fat then add the sausages and sear them.
Once those have acquired a light tan, remove them and deglaze the pot with chicken broth. Reserve the liquid.
Coddle ingredients, assemble! Stack sliced onion, sausage and Russet potatoes into layers, with a little chopped parsley and seasoning mixed in as well — like an Irish lasagna.
Add back the deglazed liquid plus a little more chicken broth, get it boiling, then cover with foil and toss the whole thing in the oven for a few hours. You’ll want to check now and again to make sure it’s not drying out, and eventually exchange the foil for the pot’s lid.
Once the onions are fully softened you may want to add an extra optional step, which involves using that reserved bacon fat and turning on your broiler. When you’re satisfied, take out the coddle and let rest for 10 minutes. Spoon it into bowls and serve with fresh, crusty bread to sop up the juices.
OK, it definitely feels like summer today, and I am suddenly so hungry for a soothing, stick-to-your-ribs Dublin coddle! Find the full recipe here if you feel the same way.