Dublin Coddle – My Story and a Super Simple Recipe
You probably know by now, from reading The Life of Stuff, that I’ve travelled extensively, worldwide that is. I love exploring different countries and what they have to offer culturally. You should definitely know by now that I love food and would class myself a ‘food lover’, or if you must a ‘foodie’.
Combining my love of travel and culture with what a new country or city has to offer me as a dining experience has had me eating and nibbling on everything from silk worms to grasshoppers and pigs intestines to dried squid. Most of wish I’d rather not ‘try’ again. However nothing had prepared me for the evening that Patrick, a ‘True Blue’ Dubliner, my then boyfriend and now husband, decided to cook me a Dublin Coddle.
When I met Patrick I was living in my own apartment in Dublin and he was living at home with his parents, like many Dubs in their early twenties do. It was obvious to both of us from the start that we were really into each other and as our dating moved from eating out to dining in, it was time to show each other our culinary skills, and with this came my introduction to Dublin Coddle.
Before I met Patrick, I hadn’t heard of a Coddle. I find it strange now to think that I hadn’t as you do see it on menus in pubs and some restaurants scattered about the city. The day that Patrick told me how he was going to make this Coddle of his, and my reaction to my first glimpse of it as it cooked in the pot, is still something we smile about to this day… 14 years later.
Patrick told me he was going to make this Coddle of his from sausages, rashers (bacon slices), potatoes, onions, water with some salt and pepper. He advised me that his Dad often added an egg and as I love eggs he’d add one for me too.
To cook up the coddle, he told me that everything apart from the sausages would be chopped up and boiled in a pot. This was when I laughed, gave him a scowl and thought to myself that he was taking the piss (out of me).
You see nowadays I’d simply grab my phone and search online to see if he was playing a silly trick on me. But back then it was different. The thought of boiling up the makings of a Full Irish or there about sounded ridiculous to me, but as he chopped and diced, wiped tears from his eyes (onions), it was starting to become clear that Patrick was not winding me up and this was in fact how to make a Dublin Coddle.
With the Coddle cooking, we sat back and chatted until it was time to look inside the pot at the finished dish.
Then the moment came to lift the lid (so to speak, as Patrick didn’t actually cover the pot), and that was when I saw it. There in the pot was a pale looking stew like dish with two or three boiled sausages that looked like little willies floating on top. I was taken aback and he knew it. He had hardly gone to all this trouble to play a joke on his newish girlfriend?
He hadn’t and he grabbed two bowls and dished out the Coddle, making sure to include every ingredient. We sat down to eat. I let him go first. Then it was my turn, and to my amazement I loved it, and very soon after I loved Patrick too.
Here is Patrick’s super simple recipe for a Coddle. As mentioned above Patrick’s Dad loved an egg in his and as I love eggs too, Patrick normally adds one for me. I know of other recipes that include stock and carrots and I’m sure you could add whatever you like. However we like to keep it simple.
- 2-3 Sausages per person
- 1/2 lb of Bacon Pieces or approx 8 rashers
- Approx 6 medium sized potatoes
- One large or two medium sized onions
- Pepper and Salt to season
- Egg if desired
- Wash, peel and chop the potatoes
- Seperate the sausages if bought as a string
- If using rashers, chop into small pieces
- Peel and chop onions
- In a large pot, add the potatoes, onions, sausages, rashers and season with salt and pepper
- Add enough cold water to the pot to cover the ingredients and place on a high heat
- When the Coddle comes to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 mins
- If adding an egg, wait until the coddle is just about cooked, create a well in the middle of the coddle and crack in the egg and it will bind together and poach.
- When the Coddle is cooked, serve in bowls and add more seasoning if desired
- Serve in a bowl with a soup spoon, fork and buttered sliced bread, cracker bread or crusty bread
This post was originally published in July 2014 – some text has since been updated.