The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.54
FALL2017

Dublin coddle.

Irish-potato-banquet.jpg britishfoodinamerica is a proponent of Dublin coddle. It is one of the mere handful of dishes that Ireland in reality may call its own, a culinary anomaly despite its simplicity, both of content and technique. Coddle does not sound or look like much but then neither does Poule au Pot , Irish stew or Lancashire hotpot. Wait until you taste it. Four soothing servings.


  • 4 big onions sliced into thin crescents
  • 4 Idaho (or more Maine) potatoes peeled and sliced about 3/8 inch thick
  • ½ lb Irish or English (not smoked and streaky) bacon cut crosswise into strips
  • pepper (you will not need salt)
  • 8 Irish or English sausages ( see the notes)
  • a bunch of roughly chopped scallions
  • 4 Tablespoons minced parsley
  • generous knobs of unsalted butter
  • brown sauce (HP, A-I, Wilkin’s and the like)

  1. Alternate three layers each of onion, potato, bacon and pepper in a big pot.
  2. Add a layer of onion and arrange the sausages on top in spokes.
  3. Pour enough boiling water into the pot to rise a little more than halfway into the coddle.
  4. Return the coddle to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and cook partially covered until the potatoes are done, usually in 1 to 1½ hours.
  5. Remove the cover, push the scallions down into the coddle and boil hard for a few minutes to thicken the coddle and cook the scallions (but not too much).
  6. Serve each portion of coddle sprinkled with a generous dose of parsley and topped with a pat of butter.
  7. The brown sauce is not really part of the recipe: It is an essential condiment.

 

Notes:

-Coddle is handy dish. You can make it far, far ahead. It can sit around for a long time. Wait, though, to execute Steps 5-7 until closer to dinnertime.

-As Darina Allen notes before providing measurements, “[n]o one ever measures for Dublin Coddle,” so take liberties with the listed proportions. ( The Complete Book of Irish Country Cooking , New York 1996, 120)

-It is best to serve coddle with English and Dijon mustard too but nothing else except the brown sauce and, sometimes, soda bread.

-It should go beyond mention that the appropriate beverage is stout. Our favorite for coddle is bottled Guinness Foreign Extra or, if you can get it, Guinness West India porter (seasonally brewed and hard to find even in season).

-The scallions are not strictly traditional but always should go into the pot. Lindsey Bareham recommends the addition of peas or baby greens instead at Step 5. Ignore her.

-Some Dubliners thicken their coddle with a little cornstarch and at least one uses white pudding to similar but flavorful effect. Recommended.

-‘Tommy Moloney’ is a good American producer of Irish style bacon, sausage and white pudding; black pudding and big hunks of bacon for boiling too.