17 March 2010

A Taste of Ireland

Kiss me! I'm not the least bit Irish. But I am Southern and we will celebrate ANYTHING! So here's to all you Irish folk out there. Rumor has it you saved civilization, so grab a pint of Guinness for your trouble.

A Taste of Ireland is one of those small, specific books we love. A few recipes a lot of pictures and the author has a great name, Biddy White Lennon. Who wouldn't just love someone named Biddy White Lennon.

According to Biddy White Lennon, this is a favorite dish of Jonathan Swift, who was Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral (the one in Dublin) and a writer... what was that book?? Gulliver's Travels.

Jonathan Swift by Charles Jervas

So here's a little something for St. Patty's Day...

Dublin Coddle

450 g/1 lb bacon bits*, or a streaky bacon joint, cubed
450 g/1 lb good quality (meaty) Irish breakfast sausages
3 large onions, peeled, and chopped
1¼ kg/3 lb floury potatoes, peeled
6 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste
500 ml/16 fl oz/2 cups water

*Bacon ‘bits’ are off-cuts from various types of bacon (both smoked and pale) and are sold cheaply in Dublin pork butchers’ shops specially for coddle. Normally they contain a fairly even mixture of fat and lean. Streaky bacon also works well; keep the skin on for more flavour.

Cut the potatoes into fairly large pieces (leave them whole if small). Chop the fresh parsley. Choose a heavy pot with a really tight-fitting lid. Put a generous layer of chopped onions on the bottom and then layer the other ingredients, giving each layer a generous twist of pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cover very tightly. Cook for 2–5 hours! The longer and slower the cooking, the better this dish will be. It cannot come to any harm providing the lid is really tight. A very low oven is best, set at 120°C/250°F/Gas ½.

This dish is a famous Irish "funeral food" as you can stick it in an oven and basically cook it for hours without much harm.

Now get out there and start drinking! Éirinn go brách!

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