Dublin Coddle Recipe & History
Stovetop – Oven – Slow Cooker – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions
For St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or any cold winter evening, enjoy a delicious Irish casserole known as a Dublin Coddle. A rustic one-pot meal that is easy to throw together and is simplicity at its finest.
The key ingredients for a Dublin coddle include pork sausages, leaner cut bacon, potatoes and onions that simmer in a stock for several hours producing the ultimate comfort meal loved dearly by Dublin city folk. Many Dublin families will have their own flavor variations to use in the stock such as chicken, beef or ham with a splash of Guinness stout added at the very end of cooking. While others may just use water or milk for the liquid. I have also seen many discuss using hard apple cider. There really is no right or wrong way to prepare a coddle. After combing over several recipes to find the most authentic cooking method, I found that some Dubliners will throw all the ingredients in the pot with stock and just boil away. While others prefer to brown the bacon and sausage first, then saute the onions in the remaining bacon grease before simmering everything together. I opted for browning the meats and sauteing the onions first. I personally feel it takes the dish up a notch and it more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In this recipe I used both chicken stock and hard cider. The cider really added a wonderful hint of apple flavor with the pork meats. Bacon and hard apple cider meld together with all the ingredients resulting in a lovely and comforting meal.
Instructions are provided to cook on the stove top, oven, slow cooker or Instant Pot pressure cooker. I’ll have to say out of the 4 cooking options, simmering low and slow on the stovetop or baking in the oven produced the best melded flavors from all the ingredients. I could really taste more of an apple flavor in the carrots and potatoes that the cider imparted.
History of Dublin Coddle
Outside the city of Dublin, don’t expect many Irishmen to be familiar with a bowl of Dublin Coddle as it’s considered city food for the working class. In most Dublin households, a steaming hot bowl of Dublin Coddle tastes like home and is considered “the lifeblood of the common man”. Dubliners will tell you coddle is best enjoyed with a pint of Guinness and plenty of soda bread to sop of the juices. A hearty coddle typically consists of the staple ingredients of thick cut potatoes, sliced onions, bacon rashers and pork sausages, known as bangers, that slowly simmer on the stove for hours during the winter months. A traditional coddle did not use carrots but more households began to add carrots in the 20th century to add more nutritional value. The word “Coddle” derives from the French term “Caudle” which means to boil gently, parboil or stew.
Dublin Coddle is the quintessential slow cooked meal dating back to the first famine times in the late 1700’s where “anything to hand, save your nearest and dearest, got thrown into the pot.” A few different theories float around on how Dublin Coddles became popular in Ireland. In one popular notion, it was because devoted Irish wives could start the meal cooking in a pot and go to bed. The coddle could then simmer for hours so a dear husband had a hearty meal waiting for him when he finally arrived home from a long night at the pub. Coddle also became a traditional Thursday night meal for the Catholic faith. Since meat is forbidden for devout Catholics on Fridays. Cooking up a coddle on a Thursday was a convenient way to use up the remaining bangers and rashers of bacon in the household. Leftover coddle was then saved and reheated on Saturday night after a late night of fun. Before Take Away Fish and Chip shops were available in the cities for late evening snacks, It was typical Dublin tradition to cook up a pot of Dublin Coddle early in the day and let it cool down. Then the coddle could be reheated later for supper after a night out at the pictures or pub. Dublin Coddle still remains popular to cook to this day since the dish can be started in the morning and slow cook all day to be ready to eat after a day of work.
Late 18th Century :
In the first great famine of Ireland 1765-1767, a large migration of people moved out of the Irish countryside and into the big city of Dublin to find better work opportunities. These new city dwellers brought with them small animals such as hens and pigs to raise for food since they could not afford lamb. After a pig was slaughtered and sold off, the remains left behind were turned into sausages. The sausages and streaky bacon rashers were boiled up with root vegetables for a cheap and nourishing family meal.
Jonathon Swift, author of Gullliver’s Travels and Dean of the Christ Church of Dublin considered Dublin Coddle one of his favorite meals, and was known for referencing coddle in his literature.
Irish author James Joyce known for the great literary work of Ulysses, makes reference to the dish of coddle in his published work of short stories called Dubliners capturing the everyday life of the working man and families struggling to survive in the city of Dublin.
IrishCentral, A Traditional irish Cold Weather Treat Dublin Coddle Recipe, by Holly Thomas Apr 24, 2017, https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/genealogy/a-traditional-irish-solution-to-post-pub-hunger-dublin-coddle
Delishably, The Best Irish Coddle Recipe by L M Reid in 2011, https://delishably.com/meat-dishes/How-to-make-Irish-Coddle-My-mothers-recipe-with-photos
SundayTribute, Food That Only The Irish Eat (Apparently), published by Derek O’Connor September 21,2008, https://web.archive.org/web/20090421080838/http://www.tribune.ie/article/2008/sep/21/food-that-only-the-irish-eat-apparently/
Ifood.tv, Coddle, https://ifood.tv/european/coddle/about
Dublin Coddle Recipe:
Categories:Ground Pork & Sausage Recipes Irish Pork Casseroles Pork Stew and Soups Pressure Cooker Pork Recipes Saint Patrick's Day Slow Cooker Pork Recipes Soups and Stews HIstory