A Coddle is basically a leftover stew. Traditionally eaten in Ireland on Thursdays, to finish any meat left in the house, it is a hearty potato based dish best made in a Dutch oven, or any other heavy lidded pot. This version contains all the basics: potatoes, onion, sausage and bacon. While it sounds like a very cheap dish with little flavour, this dish lends itself really well for a little investment on your basics. Visit your local butcher for good in-house made pork sausages (like Cumberland sausages) with some beautiful herbs and spices, good bacon, and butcher made beef broth. The investment will show in the flavour of the end result. Since this was traditionally a dish that contained everything but the kitchen sink, feel free to change it up. Serve this warm wintery dish with a fresh tossed salad and a zingy vinaigrette.
• 200 g bacon
• 3 large potatoes
• 1 large onion
• 3 large fresh sausages
• 2 cups good quality beef stock
• 2/3 cup Guinness
• fresh or dried parsley
1. In a bit of butter and olive oil, brown your sausages on all sides on the stove, in a heavy lidded, oven proof pot. Slice the bacon into smaller pieces and render until slightly browned.
2. Meanwhile peel your potatoes and cut into thick slices. Peel and slice one onion into thin strips.
3. Take the sausages out of the pan and cut into thick slices. Drain most of the fat out of the pan, into a glass container. Keep by the side of your stove to cook with on another day.
4. Layer potatoes, bacon, sausages and onion in the pot. Add the beef stock, parsley and Guinness. Crack some fresh pepper over the dish and cover with a lid. There is no need to add salt to this dish, both the bacon and the sausages will provide enough flavour.
5. Cook in a 300 degree oven for 2 to 3 hours. Check every hour to see if there is still liquid in the pot. If you need to, add a bit of beef stock. Test if the potatoes are cooked by pricking them with a fork. You want them to be soft, but not falling apart.
6. Serve hot, with a side salad and some Irish soda bread to mop up the juices.