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


A Number of Bars & Beers, Some of Them Irish


in the practical

Barm Brack
Barm Brack, along with soda bread, is the bread or cake (it seems a hybrid) we most associate with Ireland. The recipe from All in the Cooking is authentic and appealing.

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.

Soda bread
Ineluctably Irish, and wonderful. Our recipe derives from one of seven variants found in All in the Cooking, the universal home economics text of Irish schools for four decades beginning in 1946.

Lax pudding.
The simplicity of the dish belies its appeal. A Scandinavian assembly but redolent of British technique, probably just another coincidence. You will need to cure the fish to make a sort of gravadlax for two days before assembling the pudding. About four servings.

Jonathan Meades’ smoked haddock soup.
Whether or not this soup did arise like Athena from the head of Zeus, it is sublime; simple and satisfying, and as Meades also insists more generally, it requires no “re-interpreting…. The wheel has already been invented.” Whether or not so sweeping a claim survives much scrutiny, this wheel anyway has progressed to perfection or as close as anything the product of human hands gets to the state. Makes a boatload of soup.

An Irish recipe for curried butter beans from All in the Cooking.
The beans were intended for service with rice as an economical main dish in the impoverished Ireland of 1946. The homely and appealing curry also makes an excellent side or part of a set of western curries for dinner.

Irish curry sauce adapted from All in the Cooking
This is a lovely Old School curry sauce for universal use. One of its unique applications; saucing butter beans.

Dry cured spiced beef based on a recipe from Jane Grigson via Elizabeth David.
Dry cured spiced beef based on a recipe from Jane Grigson via Elizabeth David. Mrs. Grigson uses more allspice than Mrs. David; we use a little more again along with a greater proportion of pepper.

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
We seldom cook roast beef, not because we dislike it, but because the process can be nerve-wracking. It must be roast on the bone and must be perfect, rosy rare inside and crusty outside. Fifteen minutes of overcooking ruins the roast. It also is expensive. Since this is a special treat, we only buy prime beef, which is both difficult to find and expensive. You will need a meat thermometer.

A stolen Lancashire hotpot
It needs very slow cooking in an oven. Into a family-sized, brown, oval-shaped dish with a lid, you place the following ingredients: best end of neck of lamb, trimmed of all fat; potatoes and onions thickly sliced. These go in alternate layers. Season well, cover with good stock, top with oysters or, if you wish, sliced beef kidneys. There is no need for officious timing: you will know when it is done. Serve with pickled red cabbage and a cheap claret.

the practical archive

No.52, Spring 2017
Another Northern Number, in Which We Return to Tourtière, and featuring Insular Foodways
No.51, Winter 2016
A Number of Revivals & Reinventions,
featuring Oxtail and Treacle
No.50, Fall 2016
A Number of Eccentrics & Eccentricities featuring Hybrids
No.49, Summer 2016
A Summer Number of Sandwiches and Soup,
featuring Enquiries into Origin
No.48, Spring 2016
A Northern Number
No.47, Winter 2015
A Wintry Number featuring Cambridge
No.46, Fall 2015
Our Fifth Anniversary Number, Featuring Figures Past and Future, and Ketchup
No.45, Summer 2015
A Number of Bloomsbury Fancies -
Culinary, Erotic & Otherwise
No.44, Spring 2015
A Sort of Archeological Number
No.43, Winter 2014
Our First Scottish Number
No.42, Fall 2014
A Number of Savory Pies for Fall
No.41, Summer 2014
Our First Foray Toward the Foodways of India
No.40, Spring 2014
An Eighteenth Century Interlude
No.39, Winter 2013
A Winter Number featuring
More Curious Cuisine and Holiday Cheer
No.38, Fall 2013
A Meandering Fall Number, With Curious Questions and, Perhaps, Curious Cuisine
No.37, Summer 2013
An Eclectic Summer Number featuring a Forgotten Champion and More Musings on Madeira
No.36, Spring 2013
Our First Quarterly Number, featuring
a Vanished Ireland and Worcestershire
No.35, Feb 2013
A Wintry Number of Soups & Stews
No.34, Mid-Winter 2012
Our Third Holiday Number
No.33, Nov 2012
Our Second Preservation Number
No.32, Oct 2012
The Philadelphia Story
No.31, Sep 2012
Sandwiches, Salads and Spitalfields
No.30, Jul/Aug 2012
Oystermania and A Riverine Expedition
No.29, Jun 2012
The Oyster Number
No.28, May 2012
Another Spring Number Featuring
the Poetry of Ronald Johnson
No.27, Apr 2012
A Chicago Number Featuring Pies
No.26, Mar 2012
Our First Irish Number
No.25, Feb 2012
A Preservation Number
No.24, Mid-Winter 2011
A Number of Classics for the Holidays
No.23, Nov 2011
Our Second Thanksgiving Number
No.22, Oct 2011
A Dairy Number
No.21, Sep 2011
O! Canada - A Number Devoted to
North Atlantic Foodways
No.20, Jul/Aug 2011
Another Caribbean Number, featuring Jamaica
No.19, Jun 2011
A First Caribbean Number, featuring Barbados
No.18, May 2011
Our First Nautical Number
No.17, Apr 2011
The Hardship, War & Austerity Number, Part 2
No.16, Mar 2011
The Hardship, War & Austerity Number, Part 1
No.15, Feb 2011
The Food of the People
No.14, Jan 2011
Our Customary January Supplement
No.13, Dec 2010
Our Inaugural Holiday Number
No.12, Nov 2010
The Thanksgiving Number
No.11, Oct 2010
A First All Hallows Number
No.10, Sep 2010
A VictoEdwardian Number
No.9, Jul/Aug 2010
The Midsummer Number
No.8, Jun 2010
Britain and the American South
No.7, May 2010
A Second Seasonal Number
No.6, Apr 2010
A Seasonal Number
No.5, Mar 2010
The Bristolian Number
No.4, Feb 2010
The Elizabeth David Number
No.3, Mid-Winter 2009
The Killjoy Number
No.2, Nov 2009
The Charcuterie Number
No.1, Oct 2009
The Launch Number