For several reasons, not the least of which was my goofy work schedule, we decided to have our St. Patrick's Day dinner a day early. Kris and I had already decided that Corned Beef and Cabbage was out of the question because I am the only human living at my house that likes Pickled Meat. Although the idea of someone not liking meat that has been soaked in a salt bath for weeks then cooked with cabbage for most of a day is bizarre to me. I took those specifications under advisement and decided to do a meal not so well known for the green holiday. Dublin Coddle was on the menu for our house actually the entire menu was Dublin Coddle, Irish Soda Bread and Braised Cabbage.
To get it out of the way I will say that I have made Soda Bread several times in my adult life and this was the first one that was even mildly palatable, actually I thought it was pretty good. I will blog about it in a day or two, but remember that as this post unfolds. Today's post is about the Dublin Coddle the best short description is Sausage Stew. I hadn't tried this dish until a couple of years ago when a friend of mine made it... Oh my GOD it was good! one of those comfort foods that you have never tasted (like Ham Gravy) when you eat it... it just seems like you always should have been eating it, it makes you feel all warm inside and fills you up.
The first challenge here was getting my hands on some Bangers, or Irish Sausages, I Figured that, since I live in the suburbs of Chicago that I could get my hands on some Irish Sausages pretty easily... not at all the case. First I searched my usual haunts, dried anchovies, live octopus, quail, rabbit liver pate… all easy to come by, Irish Sausage, impossible. Well almost so, one of the guys I work with picked them up from a specialty butcher on the North side of Chicago for me.
5 Bangers (about a pound)
¾ pound Ham
4 Potatoes peeled and sliced
1 Onion sliced thick
3 cups Chicken Stock
1 Guinness Drought
How it is done:
First heat the oven to 325 then cut the Sausages into thirds and dice the ham into about ¾ inch cubes and put them in a hot Dutch Oven style iron skillet. Small authenticity alert here… none of the recipes that I read (and I read a lot of them) called for this step, but I just had to put a little sear on the meat, you do what you think is best. Once those are seared add the rest of then ingredients (the liquid will fill up the pan until it reaches the top of the potatoes and carrots) then put into the oven for about an hour and a half. After this came out I pulled about cup and a half of the juices out to cook my cabbage in (plus a bunch of butter) I put that on the stove and cooked covered for about 10 minutes then served.
How was it? Well, I love this dish, warm and comforting the potatoes were flakey the carrots tender I really like the mild flavor and texture of the bangers and the juices are wonderful, rich and silky. All that being said… when I was dishing up Miss. Lu was playing waitress (she likes to do that) and brought Mr. Man his plate then brought Kris hers. While she was in the kitchen and we were getting her plate and mine ready (mine is always last because of the pictures). I heard Kris call from the other room, “Miss Lu, don’t eat the bread!” Then it sort of went down hill from there.
Ok hadn’t gone over as well as I had thought, Mr. Man and I liked it fine, he loved the potatoes, I liked the entire meal. However those are the opinions of someone who loves food of all kinds and a 4 year old so take them for what they are.
But it is good… really