Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dublin Coddle

There's no good way to take a picture of this. And from my picture, it doesn't look all that appealing, either. The thing is, Dublin Coddle has always been something I wanted to try. When I was in Ireland, the one pub I found that was serving it (at least as far as their printed menu was concerned) they had some issue that day and couldn't serve it--either the sausage wasn't done or the pigs were still alive, I'm not sure--and I never got around to tasting it. A few years ago when I bought my Irish cookbooks, each cookbook had a recipe for Dublin Coddle--and they were all different. One cookbook explains that this is kind of like Irish spaghetti: everyone's mother has a recipe and her way of cooking this meal. Some Irish mothers make it more like a casserole, others more like a stew. Some use whole sausages, others slice them or chop them in half. Some use carrots and celery, others wouldn't even think of it. Basically, unless you don't cook this, you can't screw it up.

(As an aside, I'm positive that I'm the first person who asked the Irish butcher about the best sausage to make Dublin Coddle. The look on his face was classic, as was his response: "Dublin Coddle? Is that a dish? Or that a dish?")

Overall I'm glad I tried this. I was the only one in the house who wanted to eat this for dinner, but it goes without saying that I'm the least picky eater in this house. I'm okay with it. I definitely want to try this again, and I've made some modifications below, either for myself or the next adventurous home cook who wants to give it a whirl. (And if you try it out, let me know what you think!)

Dublin Coddle
(Adapted from The Irish Pub Cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson)

1 lb. Irish pork sausage
4 oz. lean pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz. Irish boiling bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 c. water or vegetable stock
2 T. butter
2 onions, halved and sliced
3 medium potatoes, sliced (and peeled if you wish)
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 parsnips, sliced into rounds
3 T. minced parsley
2 sprigs thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

Prick the sausages all over with a fork. (If necessary, separate links.) In a large skillet over medium-high, sear sausage on each side until browned. Add pork and bacon to skillet and cook 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Pour off any grease, and pour in water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer together for 10 minutes. Skim off the foam that rises to the top (if necessary). Drain, reserving liquid. Set meat aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 F. In another skillet, melt butter. Saute onions for 2 minutes to give them a little color. Add in carrots, celery, and parsnips and brown for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

When sausage is cool, slice into coins and put all the meat into a bowl and mix together. Arrange half the meat mixture on the bottom of a large heavy bottomed pot or casserole dish. Layer half the onions, then top with potatoes, carrots, celery, and parsnips, seasoning with salt and pepper lightly as you go. Season with parsley and thyme, and repeat layers of meat and vegetables at least one more time.

Pour in the reserved liquid, top with a sheet of wax paper, and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender.


  1. That looks/sounds amazing. I HAVE had Coddle before, many times - and it was always different like you said.

    I'm very jealous that you were able to find sausages! (I'd make bangers and mash, but that's another story).

    1. Thanks! The only place I've ever been able to find the sausages has been at an Irish butcher. Everywhere else I go and ask, they always try to sell me brats or breakfast sausages. No one seems to know what I'm talking about!


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