I was looking for a new dish to try this St. Patrick’s Day, having thoroughly exhausted my usual corned beef hash in years past. Flipping through The Irish Pub, a relatively lightweight cookbook I found during the Borders bookstore liquidation, I came upon a recipe for Dublin Coddle, which sounded perfect for my cold, snowy St. Patrick’s day.
Looking at the simple ingredients, I was expecting to have to doctor this recipe up, but I was surprised at the delicious flavor. The heavy seasoning of black pepper during assembly really contributes to the personality of this dish.
The stew is essentially just sliced sausage, bacon, leeks, potatoes, and onions, with herbs and garlic tossed in for good measure. These are all layered in an oven-ready casserole dish after browning the onions and sausage and roasting the bacon, covered with chicken stock or water, and braised. I strongly suggest chicken stock, as even though the ingredients will impart wonderful flavor, the boost of a good, gently seasoned stock will do wonders.
As with most recipes here, my measurements are more ballpark than precise. What’s most import is to base your proportions on your casserole dish. Eye your baking dish, and visualize what it will take to make layers with these ingredients:
- Good quality pork sausages, bratwurst-sized (and style). I used bockwurst.
- Diced onions, enough to line the bottom of your casserole dish
- Thick-cut bacon, 5 to 10 slices
- Rough-chopped starchy potatoes, such as Russet
- Leek green tops, coarsely chopped
- Ground black pepper
- A few garlic cloves, chopped
- Herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, and dill, finely chopped
- Lightly seasoned chicken stock, at least 5-6 cups (enough to cover ingredients)
- An oven-proof casserole dish with a lid (or foil), and pans for browning of ingredients
- Brown your sausages on both sides in a pan. Allow to cool, slice width-wise into roughly 1-inch pieces, and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and roast your bacon until cooked. Set aside bacon fat for later, do not discard. Allow bacon to cool, and dice into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.
- Dice your onions. On the stovetop, saute the onions in some of your saved bacon fat until tender. Line the bottom of the casserole dish with the sauteed onions. Season with black pepper.
- Add up to a third or half of your chopped bacon in a new layer. Save the rest as a garnish for the end.
- Add the sliced sausages as the next layer in the casserole dish. Season with black pepper as well.
- Add the coarsely-chopped leek green tops, the diced garlic, and finely chopped herbs as the next layer.
- For the final layer, cover with a layer of roughly-chopped starchy potatoes. Season with black pepper.
- Pour enough chicken stock to cover all ingredients. Braise uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce oven heat to 250 degrees, cover casserole and braise until the potatoes are tender and have thickened the stew with their starch.
- Remove from oven, stir well, salt to taste, and cover the stew with a garnish of the remaining chopped bacon.