You know how words can grab your attention. Well, that’s what happened with this recipe; “Dublin Coddle” sounded like something I would enjoy making. According to Cook’s Country “This old-school derivative of Irish stew layers pork sausage, bacon, onions, potatoes, and stock to “coddle”, or slowly simmer.”
Not only the name but the ingredients tweaked my interest. Besides it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I do have a “wee” bit of Irish heritage, “McLean” on my Dad’s side. Other ingredients can be added such as Guinness, carrots or even cream. This is a dish you can definitely make to suit your taste buds.
Coddle is one of the most traditional dishes in Dublin going back to the 1700’s and was a useful way of using up leftover bacon or pork sausages. This dish was a favorite of Jonathan Swift who wrote Gulliver’s Travels (which I remember reading as a child) and Dublin Coddle has many references in Irish literature.
Irish pork sausages called bangers are preferred which is British slang for a sausage made with ground pork, bread crumbs and seasonings. During wartime rationing in England the bangers were so filled with water that they sometimes exploded, “bang” or split open when fried.
My search for fresh bangers failed and I was only able to find “fully cooked” bangers. They are available at Trader Joes and select Costco Clubs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States as well as the Southeastern part of the US. The Midwest is no longer selling them but hopefully that will change. Apparently, there are a number of locations in California where I could have had fresh ones shipped but that would have been too costly.
The Balson Family has been trading meat since 1515 in Dorset, England and have remained at the same location since 1880. 2007 marked the beginning of their stateside banger production . So, their legacy continues in the American market.
Because “true bangers” are hard to find in the US, especially fresh, you can substitute bratwurst, a German sausage which is often made from veal, beef, or pork. There are lots of different flavored bratwursts to choose from depending on your taste.
Serve this Irish comfort food with a glass of Guinness and soda bread to soak up the gravy. I had some ciabatta on hand and that soaked up the sauce perfectly.
Dublin Coddle, Adapted
- 1-3/4 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1-1/4 lbs. bangers or you can use bratwurst
- 2 onions, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rings
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
- 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup barley (optional, but it will soak up that delicious gravy which I would rather use to dip some good bread in)
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
- soda bread or ciabatta for dipping (or any good, crusty bread)
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 325°F . Layer potato slices slightly overlapping in the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Fry bacon over medium heat until crispy; transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, tear into pieces and reserve for the topping. Using a cast iron skillet is perfect for this recipe.
Add the sausages to the same skillet and cook until lightly browned all over, about 5-10 minutes; drain on paper towels.
Pour off all but 2 tbsp. fat from the skillet and return to medium heat. Add onions, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until the onions are soft for about 10 minutes. Scrape up any browned bits.
Add broth and vinegar and bring to a simmer; add the barley if you are using. Pour this onion mixture over potatoes, spreading onions into an even layer.
Because I used fully cooked sausages I added the browned sausages during the last 30 minutes of cooking. If you are using fresh sausages add them at the beginning and place on top of the onions. Transfer to oven and bake until paring knife inserted into potatoes meets little resistance, about 1-1/4 hours.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and reserved bacon bits.
Recipe by CookingWithAuntJuju.com