by Cat, Sept 2007 (photo, right, from The Paupered Chef (3))
I first had this dish in a Portland restaurant specializing in Irish cuisine. Hot and hearty, it’s perfect for a winter supper or pot luck. I like to serve this with Irish Soda Brown Bread and lots of butter.
There is a bit of prep, but it really is an easy dish to make; allow about 90 minutes to prepare and bake.
The traditional recipe uses Irish sausages (or British Bangers would be a good substitute), but I cannot find either of those here in Montana’s Flathead Valley (maybe could find them in Butte, on the other side of the continental divide). So I use Bratwurst or Bockwurst sausages from our local Redneck Meats.
Dublin Coddle Recipe
This is one of my favorite recipes for cold and/or wet weather. To me, it is a cross between a soup and stew: stew because sausages and veggies are cut larger than in a soup, and soup because of the flavorful broth. I provide amounts for two versions: 4 – 6 servings, or 2 servings.
My first attempts to duplicate the dish (from the version at a Portland restaurant) failed. I thought the sausages should be precooked by grilling in a skillet with some butter. This, of course, did not yield a rich flavorful broth, so I used chicken broth. It just wasn’t the same. Then I found a recipe in The Irish Heritage Cookbook,by Margaret M. Johnson (1) (from which my recipe is adapted), that indicates precooking the sausages in a water bath, to produce a nice broth. Mmmm…
The original recipe only uses potatoes, carrots and onions for the veggies, but the addition of parsnips, turnips, and/or kale are part of the Irish tradition; before the introduction of potatoes into European kitchens, parsnips and/or turnips were used much the same as we use potatoes today. You may not be familiar with parsnips (carrot’s sweeter cousin), but they are especially good in this recipe, and have a lot of nutrient value, so do use them.
All forms of kale and cabbage are used throughout Irish cuisine. I like to add a bit of braised kale as a garnish, I recommend Lacinato kale; or you can use cabbage, especially bok choy, savoy or napa cabbage.
Although the recipe calls for onions, I had a surplus of leeks from my CSA bounty, so I decided to use them, sliced crosswise every ½ inch. Excellent! Leeks have a long tradition in Ireland [see The Kitchen Project (4) for more about this].
For the sausages, use pork, or pork and veal, such as Bangers, Bratwurst or Bockwurst, if you cannot get Irish sausages. Do not use breakfast sausages–they have the wrong flavor. If you want to make your own Bangers, see The Paupered Chef (3) for a good photo essay on making making the sausages, including making the rusk – dried bread – used in the Bangers.
This is also best if you can find bacon that has not been smoked, or at least does not have smokey flavor added. Or you can blanch smoked bacon to remove much of the smokey flavor:
Ingredients & Equipment:
I include two versions: the first serves 4 – 6, and the second serves 2. Photo right, is casserole I use for 4 – 6 servings. I use Bratwurst or Bockwurst from a local sausage maker, Redneck of Kalispell, MT. Their packages of sausages include 5 each, 5-inch long sausages.
- Full-Recipe Ingredients for 4 – 6 serving:
- 8 – 10* pork (or pork and veal) sausages, each about 5 inches long.
- 4 oz meaty, sliced bacon, cut in 1.5 inch lengths
- 4 organic boiling potatoes (red, yellow or white skinned; I use Yellow Finns)
- 2 – 3 organic carrots (2 if also add parsnips)
- 1 – 2 organic parsnips and/or turnips (optional)
- 1 – 2 yellow onions; or 3 – 4 leeks
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 – 6 large leaves of red, green or black kale
- fresh or dried thyme leaves, to taste
- Unrefined sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- Ingredients for 2-servings
- 3 – 5* pork (or pork and veal) sausages, each about 5 inches long.
- 2 oz meaty, sliced bacon, cut in 1.5 inch lengths
- 2 organic boiling potatoes (red, yellow or white skinned; I use Yellow Finns)
- 1 – 2 medium organic carrots (1 if also add parsnips)
- 1 medium organic parsnip and/or turnip (optional)
- ½ – 1 yellow onion; or 1 – 2 leeks, or a mix of each
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1-2 large leaves of red, green or black kale (optional)
- fresh or dried thyme leaves, to taste
- Unrefined sea saltand fresh-ground black pepper
- Garnish (optional):
- Kale or green cabbage: 1-2 leaves per serving (depending on size)
- Alternately garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley
- large covered casserole (or 2 smaller ones) with lid(s), or ovenproof Dutch oven with lid for full recipe; smaller casserole with lid for 2-serving recipe.
- waxed paper or oiled baker’s parchment
‘* If packaged in groups of 5 sausages, use either:
- 2 packages for full recipe (4 servings of 2½ sausages each); or
- 1 package for half recipe (2 servings of 2½ sausages each)
- Prep sausages (and broth): Puncture sausages in several places with the tines of a fork, then place in a cast iron skillet. Scatter bacon pieces around the sausages in the skillet. Add filtered water to cover; bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 10-15 minutes, until slightly tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare veggies: Wash potatoes and cut each into 4 or 6 wedges (Do not peel). If you can find small red potatoes (about the size of a half dollar), you can leave them whole, or cut in half.
- Scrub un-peeled carrots (and parsnips/turnips, if using). Cut carrots and parsnips into ¾” to 1″ lengths (the fatter, the shorter); cut turnips into 4 or 6 wedges, depending on size.
- Onions and/or Leeks:
- Onions: Remove papery peel, cutting off root end. Cut onions in half lengthwise, and then cut each half cross-wise into ½ inch slices.
- Leeks: use white and barely-green part, cut into ½″ slices crosswise; if leek is large, cut it in half lengthwise before cutting into slices crosswise..
- Parsley: Wash, dry and chop parsley leaves.
- Kale or cabbage (for garnish): Wash and dry with a paper towel.
- Oven braise: Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut each sausage into 2 – 4 segments (about 1½ – 2½ inches long). Transfer half of the sausages and bacon to large casserole; arrange half of each of the veggie slices around the sausage pieces. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh or dried thyme and chopped parsley, to taste. Then repeat with remaining sausages and bacon, veggies, and sprinkling of thyme and parsley.
- Pour sausage broth over the stew and add more filtered water to nearly cover. Tear off a length of waxed paper and fit over the top of the casserole; then cover with the lid (or if there is no lid, seal with aluminum foil).
- Place casserole in heated oven, and bake until veggies are tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove lid and waxed paper. Taste broth; season with salt & pepper to taste. Some sausages provide enough seasoning so that additional salt & pepper are not needed. Stir gently.
- Replace waxed paper and lid over the coddle, and bake another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if you wish to garnish with kale or a green cabbage, cut kale’s leaves from the stem; then cut the leaves in bite-size pieces (I save the stem to add to my morning smoothie). If using cabbage, cut into bite-size pieces.
- Heat a small pan with a bit of olive oil over medium heat; lower to a simmer and add the kale/cabbage and sauté lightly with a bit of salt. Add about ¼ – ½ cup of the sausage broth or filtered water – just enough to almost cover the veggies; cover pan and simmer about 3 minutes more; then set aside to keep warm.
- Alternately cut and wash a few sprigs of fresh parsley to sprinkle over each serving.
- Serve hot, adding the garnish (if using) to each serving bowl just before serving.
Assembly or Serving Suggestions
- Accompany with slices of Irish Soda Brown Bread arranged on a bread board, around a pot of whipped butter (or honey and butter).
- The Irish Heritage Cookbook, by Margaret M. Johnson
- Simca’s Cuisine, by Simone Beck
- The Paupered Chef: Homemade British Bangers and the Search for Rusk: thepauperedchef.com/2010/03/homemade-british-bangers-and-the-search-for-rusk.html
- The Kitchen Project: kitchenproject.com/history/Leeks/