I’m gonna shed some serious Irish pride here, so don’t mind me.
I’ve got Irish, English, and Welsh in my blood and bones, but I tapped into my Irish roots early on (thanks to my Irish mom). She and I used to dance in the hallway to her favorite Irish music records when I was a little girl. When I got married my mom, my very Irish sister-in-law, and I all took over the dance floor, dancing a reel as I was in my wedding dress and barefoot laughing the whole time. Needless to say, I’ve got the Emerald Isle in my veins.
I took my Irish heritage to heart, so I found a way to travel abroad for a semester in college. I landed in Cork City, Ireland and loved every moment. I made fabulous friends, failed at learning to speak Irish, rode some horses, drank some Guinness and Murphys, and ate LOTS of brown bread with whipped butter. After that, I returned with my little brother, then again with my best friend. Every time I returned to Ireland it felt like returning home.
I’ve never made an Irish dish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In truth, I can’t stand corned beef and cabbage. Absolutely grosses me out. But I found this recipe and it sounded intriguing. Not only because it had “bangers” in the recipe which my little bro used to order every time we went to a local Irish bar, but also because I had some very fun times in Dublin including playing in a volleyball tournament at UCD (University College Dublin). I had to give this a try.
In a very feeble attempt to make this healthier, I used chicken sausage and only half the amount (that was purely by accident as I didn’t read the recipe when I made my grocery list).
Definitely a meaty meal, but enjoy! Sláinte! (“Cheers” in Irish)
Dublin Coddle (recipe care of theviewfromgreatisland.com)
INGREDIENTS: 8 slices thick cut bacon (rough chopped), 8 large fresh pork sausages (or whatever sausage you can get), 1/2 yellow onion (diced), 3 leeks (trimmed, sliced, and washed), 4 carrots, peeled and sliced, 1/2 cup barley (uncooked), 1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup beer, 3 bay leaves, salt and black pepper, 4 large yukon gold potatoes, 2 Tbsp butter (melted), parsley (chopped)
DIRECTIONS: Peel the potatoes and place in a bowl filled with cold water. In a large braising pan or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate, leaving a layer of grease in the pan. Brown the sausages on both sides, and remove the to the plate. Add the onions, carrots, and leeks to the pot in an even layer. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the sausage and bacon over the veggies, along with the barley and bay leaves. Pour the beer and broth over all. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the potatoes and arrange in overlapping fashion over the top of the pan. Bring the pan up to a boil, then turn down to low, cover, and let simmer gently (coddle it!) for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425F. Uncover the pan, brush the potatoes with melted butter, and then put in the oven (uncovered) for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and tender. Check the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife to be sure they’re tender. Note: If you like you can place the pot under the broiler briefly to get more color on the crust, but watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Sprinkle with parsley and serve asap with biscuits and beer!
Notes: To prep the coddle ahead of time: You can layer up the casserole in the morning, without the sliced potato topping. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to cook, slice and arrange the potatoes.