Dublin Coddle

Dublin Coddle was a dish that I was completely unaware of until I happened upon a menu at the Oliver St John Gogarty pub in the Temple Bar district of Dublin proper. I still have no idea how popular it may or may not be, but it does seem to have been around for a while, being a favorite dish of Jonathan Swift (if one believes such items that cannot be verified).

It is a quite simple dish to make as well as an excellent candidate for the slow cooker if one wants to go that route. It is, at it’s core, a stew of potatoes, onions, sausage, bacon, and a pork stock. Anything else, from what I’ve read about it, is a luxury or a flourish. After eating a bowl (well, two bowls, after last night) I’ve come to the realization that it doesn’t need much of anything else.

There are several notes which should be considered if one wishes to make this. Firstly, if you’re aiming for authenticity, then the bacon should be of the British variety, the rashers, rather than the American variety. However, American bacon will work quite nicely, and will likely upset none but the purists.

Secondly, use starchy potatoes rather than waxy. As the coddle will stew for quite some time, the potatoes should cook to a point where they will fall apart if looked at sternly. Once they fall apart, the give the coddle a thickened, almost creamy texture. This is a good thing. Your typical Idaho baking spud is perfect for this dish.

Finally, the pork stock in place of water is not a necessity, but it will provide a depth of flavor that opens up the dish quite nicely. That choice is yours. Additionally, pouring a touch of Guinness in the pot also works quite well, and from what I am led to believe, is quite an acceptable behavior.

  • 2 qts water or pork stock
  • 1 lb. link sausages (American breakfast or bangers – both of the smaller link sized)
  • 1 lb. sliced bacon
  • 3-4 potatoes (about 3 lbs worth, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch)
  • 3-4 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • ground pepper
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 12 oz. Guinness, for a flourish

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the 2 qts of water in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, place the bacon and sausage in a skillet and fry over medium heat just long enough to get some color but not to cook thoroughly. Remove from the skillet and place in the boiling water. Allow to boil beteen 5-8 minutes. Remove from the water and slice into bite-sized pieces. Set both the water and the meats aside.

In a dutch over or casserole dish, start layering the ingredients in the following order, sliced potatoes, sliced onions, pepper, parsley, meats. Repeat this process until all of the ingredients have been used or the pot is filled.

Taking the remaining water or pork stock, pour over the layers until it barely comes up to the uppermost layer of onions. If you need more liquid, top off with more water or the Guinness.

Place in the oven and allow to stew for at least 90 minutes. Cooking it longer should not harm the dish at all as long as the liquid does not evaporate.

Ladle into bowls and serve with buttered bread or Irish Soda bread.

Serves 6-8