If you’re craving a warm and gratifying authentic Dublin Coddle, everything you want in a traditional Irish dish is found right here. It’s a one pot wonder.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
The Foundation of This Dish Begins with An Irish Sausage Known as A Banger
Rustic fare recipes involving simple ingredients like bacon, a unique kind of sausage, in this case Irish bangers, and Guinness beer are on the top of my list during winter months. This recipe for a Dublin Coddle is comfort food of the utmost level.
It’s a welcoming classic Irish dish assembled using smoked bacon, pork sausages, a ton of onions or leeks, and potatoes. I prepare my coddle in a large Dutch oven.
It is the best piece of kitchen equipment to get this job done. A heavy bottomed covered pot in a low heat oven will produce an end result that nothing other than slow cooking can produce.
Do You Have What You’ll Need To Make A Dublin Coddle? Check The List!
- smoked thick cut streaky bacon (bacon fat is essential to the success of this dish, so look for very well marbled bacon)
- Irish bangers or quality pork sausages
- yellow onions
- fresh garlic
- granulated sugar
- crème or dry sherry
- pint of Guinness stout (or beef broth combined with seltzer)
- fresh parsley
- chicken stock
- Yukon Gold potatoes
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
Make a tried-and-true Irish Coddle recipe for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This dish is cooked low and slow and all in one pot. Once the stovetop prep is completed, it goes into a low oven to braise in a gorgeously constructed stock for anywhere between 2 and 4 hours. The longer the braise, the deeper the flavor the resulting pot liquor becomes.
The potatoes absorb the sweet, caramelized onions and smokiness of the bacon while simmering in the pot liquor. Meanwhile, the stout breaks down the starches, marrying everything. The product is a highly reduced, perfectly tender layered Irish stew.
Good quality pork sausages or bangers bacon, onions, potatoes, and stout are a phenomenal combination. The beer may be omitted, and chicken stock or beef stock used in its place if preferred. The stew may also be served chunky, or half the potatoes and juices mashed and served alongside the stew. Serve with brown bread or other crusty bread.
Beginning with the smoked bacon, every single ingredient is browned, rendered, or caramelized in a large Dutch oven. It’s then assembled and popped in a very low oven.
The coddle or ‘long simmer’ also gets chopped fresh parsley, a few cloves garlic, and stout.
Stout Or No Stout?
If stout isn’t your thing, substitute beef stock. I like to mimic the stout by adding 1/4 cup of club soda to 3/4 beef broth.
It’s not the same as adding stout, but the resulting pot liquor produced from the long braise is quite simply outstanding.
Once the Coddle is done, I use a big, slotted spoon and remove about half or a little more of the potato and onion mixture from the Dutch oven to a large bowl.
I also add some of the smoky bacon and rich pot liquor to that bowl and I “rough mash” the potatoes. What I get is something in between mashed and lumpy mashed.
I spoon a bit of the remaining stew, pot liquor, and a banger into each serving bowl. This authentic Irish recipe is reserved for weekends during cold months, and cozy dinners like Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day.
I know I will be asked if this dish can also be assembled in a slow cooker. I think to that the answer is yes. It would however still require browning, rendering, and caramelizing via the stove top, so no longer a one pot meal.
I keep my oven temperature at a steady 300 degrees F. Two hours may or may not be enough for the potatoes to sufficiently coddle, so if preparing in the crock pot, you may need a third or even forth hour of cooking.
I have not yet tried this in an instant pot and do not plan to. There is just something about low and slow cooking that gets lost with many of the dishes we are attempting in a pressure cooker or an instant pot…
You Might Just Call This a Recipe for Guinness Coddle If You Love Stout
I enjoy experimenting with new recipes. I REALLY enjoyed this one for a few reasons. As I shared with you in my post for Irish Beef and Stout Stew, I have only recently learned of the Irish heritage in my DNA results.
I was able to locate my 3rd Great Grandmother, Eliza Coffin. She was an Irish immigrant to the United States (New York City) in 1835. So, let’s say what I’m sharing today is a family recipe of sorts!
It’s In The DNA
Concerning Eliza, I wondered what her life was like. I wondered what she must have felt leaving her parents behind.
Looking into the history of the county she was from in Ireland, I discovered that two thirds of that county’s population were dirt poor. She must have hoped for a better way, a different way, and a much better life by journeying across the Atlantic.
The idea to assemble this coddle came from researching the area. Well, and my curiosity concerning Eliza as well as the first great famine of Ireland…
Turns out Grandmother Eliza was celebrated for her contributions to the church. FOOD.
There were many traditional Irish food dishes mentioned in addition to an onion and potato stew, including an ‘Irish custard with pears.’ And I’m sharing that here.
What Is In An Irish Stew?
Irish food by itself has never excited me. Maybe it’s because I’d never tasted real Irish recipes prepared with authentic and available ingredients.
I am a big proponent of “getting it right” by incorporating as much of an original ingredient list as I can find.
If I choose to alter, omit, or add, it’s because I found leverage somewhere in my research where that ingredient was used at least once.
Pearl barley, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, layers of sausages, layers of potatoes, and fresh herbs make for a hearty meal.
It’s a great way to use up leftover sausages from another recipe, and a great way to shop fresh ingredients at your local market while supporting local farmers and purveyors.
What Kind of Sausage Should I Buy?
Dublin Coddle is traditionally made with bangers, a pork sausage seasoned with garlic and herbs.
If you have difficulty finding traditional Irish bangers, use any high-quality pork sausage. Bratwurst and mild Italian sausage both work well.
What Are the Best Potatoes for An Irish Stew or Coddle?
Avoid starchier varieties like Russet potatoes and Idaho potatoes. These do not hold their shape when cooked over a long period of time. Instead consider purchasing Yukon Golds.
Yukons are considered a medium-starch potato and a waxy potato. Red potatoes are a low-starch potato that is high in moisture. They too, work great in stews such as this coddle.
How Do You Make an Irish Coddle?
Minding The Preparations
For most everyone, March equals corned beef and cabbage. I absolutely adore it, but a Dublin Coddle is more in fitting with the foods my Irish forebearers would have been accustomed to eating, especially during cold weather.
No one flavor stands out in this dish, rather every layer, savory or sweet, lends support to the next.
I tried this dish with the addition of barley which is most appropriate in terms of authenticity. I like it but did not love it.
After reworking the steps to see where I could add additional sweetness to balance the savory, I was able to manipulate the onions.
A VERY SLOW Caramelization Of The Onions
Begin by SLOWLY breaking the onions down in a few tablespoons of the rendered bacon and sausage fat. Then add a heaping tablespoon of granulated sugar to aid and hasten caramelization.
To finish the onions, douse them in crème sherry to sweeten them, and to deglaze the pan. Be sure to scrape up all those precious browned bits.
In a matter of minutes, you’ll be able to remove heaps of gorgeous golden brown caramelized onions from your Dutch oven and begin the layering process.
Chicken Broth Versus Beef Broth And WHY
One thing I failed to mention is chicken broth. Conversely, and for as much as I like beef broth, chicken broth will add the most pronounced flavor to the resulting pot liquor.
We want this because those potatoes are going to be ‘coddling’ and drinking this up. Use homemade stock if you have it. Finally, be sure to ladle a bit of that pot liquor into your bowl when serving.
How to Reheat Dublin Coddle?
When properly stored in a refrigerable container with a tight-fitting lid, this sausage stew keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Gently reheat on the stove in a large saucepan over medium low heat, or in a small Dutch oven at 300° F oven for 30 minutes
Can Dublin Coddle Be Frozen?
So, the potatoes in this dish make it, unfortunately, NOT a good dish for freezing.
I know, I know…everybody’s ‘Irish’ on St. Patrick’s Day…
This easy Dublin Coddle recipe has been assembled with authentic ingredients to be able to count this among other truly authentic Irish meals.
If you wanted to alter this recipe to suit your family’s taste, traditional ingredients to consider adding would include cabbage, barley, leeks, or hard cider in lieu of the stout.
Just like a lamb stew, a coddle is also a filling stew but with ingredients that may be more readily available here in the States.
And yes, you can still be Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, the only difference being with a dish your kids are more likely to eat!
What To Serve with A Dublin Coddle?
Remember, this is a one-pot meal, so there’s no obligation to serve anything alongside. I’d bet that a pint of Guinness and a hunk of crusty bread would be in order though!
Great bread sides to accompany Dublin Coddle include this Artisan Dutch Oven Beer Bread or my Hot-From-The-Oven Yeast Rolls.
Craving A Warm And Gratifying Authentic Dublin Coddle?
- 4 quart or larger Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting ovenproof lid
Ingredients for Dublin Coddle
- 1/2 pound bacon smoked, thick cut, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pound pork sausages if you are able to purchase pork bangers, those are preferred
- 2 extra large onions randomly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic smashed and rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup crème sherry
- 1 cup stout best substitute is 3/4 cup beef broth combined with 1/4 cup seltzer
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes halved and quartered if large
- 3 cups chicken broth homemade if possible; best substitute is ham stock
- 1/2 cup parsley fresh, rough chopped
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 300° F.
- Place a large Dutch Oven on the stove. Over medium heat, render the bacon. You want it cooked, but not crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked bacon to a plate and set aside.
- Carefully add the sausages to the Dutch oven. Brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove and reserve to same plate as bacon.
- Discard all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Add the onions. Sauté until the onions just begin to break down, 5 to 8 minutes. Toss onions several times to ensure they are breaking down evenly. Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and toss again. Add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Off the pot from the heat briefly and deglaze with crème sherry. Replace pot atop heat and bring the sherry mixture to a boil. Use the back of a spoon to scrape up all of the fond at the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and reduce the sherry until all of it has largely evaporated and the onions are caramelized. Pour in the stout ** see NOTES. Again bring to a boil before lowering the heat and allowing the stout to largely evaporate. Remove the pot from the heat again. Remove the onions from the pot to a bowl. Set aside.
- Add half the chunked potatoes to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Season liberally with pepper and add half the chopped parsley. Add half the onions. Finish with half the cooked bacon. Repeat beginning with the remaining potatoes and ending with the remaining cooked bacon.
- Nestle the bangers atop the layers. Add the chicken broth all at once. Replace the pot (very heavy now) to the heat and bring to another boil. Off the pot from the heat and fit the pot with its lid. Carefully transfer the pot to the oven.
- Braise for 2 to 4 hours checking every 30 minutes to see if broth must be added. Maintain an inch of liquid at all times to prevent burning. ** The braise is largely complete at 2 hours. Adding additional time ensures a well flavored pot liquor and very tender potatoes. I braise for a minimum of 3 hours and use the last hour to set my table and prepare my biscuits.
- Season with salt and pepper if necessary. If planning to mash some or all of the potato mixture, carefully spoon out to a bowl and use a hand masher to 'rough mash' the potatoes. I use about 1/2 cup of the pot liquor to mash in lieu of butter or milk.
- Serve by mounding some of the mash in a bowl. Ladle some remaining stew and the pot liquor over top and nestle a banger right in the middle.