Dublin Coddle

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 brand I went with  is shown below who have an online site if you can’t find them locally. Their bangers are a delicious blend of pork, rusk (wheat) and spices in a natural casing.

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 potatoes 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

22 thoughts on “Dublin Coddle

  1. I read bangers and I was sold. There’s nothing quite like English sausages believe me. Bangers and mash used to be my favorite. Whenever I visit family in England, they know they need to always stock the refrigerator with these. Where did you find yours Judi? The meal looks so comforting, all my favorite ingredients.

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    • I forgot about your family ties in England. Balson and Son sausages (hopefully fresh) will be appearing in more places. The fully cooked were great – and a perfect pairing with the potatoes, onions and sauce. I’ve heard of bangers and mash – this is just a different way to serve potatoes with the bangers. Trader Joe’s carries their own brand (I would seriously look for the more authentic Balson and Son). Some Costcos sell the Balson version. It was really, really good Loretta – I will enjoy this meal more often and not just for St. Patrick’s Day.

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    • Thanks Julie – a nice treat from other traditional Irish food. The sauce made it extra special and of course I know you like your beer and would be perfect with this dish 🙂 A rather mild sausage and apparently Balson and Son make other varieties – I am hoping for fresh sometime.

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  2. Great post Aunt JuJu and I just learnt that bangers isn’t a general words for any and all sausages (like I thought – ‘bangers and mash’) – but rather it’s for a specific type of sausage. Thanks for sharing and happy belated St Patrick’s day 😄

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