Unfortunately, I am not familiar with Irish dishes. While living in New Orleans I passed by The Irish House, an Irish gastro-pub, and enjoyed many a pints at Finn McCool’s. I never took the opportunity to sample the fare.
Like most of the countries on the list, my unfamiliarity of the potential dish of the evening left me hoping to find something with familiar ingredients but enough range to make it something new and memorable.
For the meal I turned to The Frugal Gourmet On Our Immigrant Ancestors for inspiration. There were many a stew recipes:
- Potato Onion Soup, Irish Style
- Irish Beef Stew with Guinness Stout
- Not a fan of beef stews
- Irish Lamb Stew
- I cannot tell my caring, loving five-year old he is eating lamb. He struggles with eating any meats.
- Scallop and Mushroom Pie
- When my son asks what we are eating for dinner my husband often jokes that we are eating an onion and mushroom pie. So, this is a no.
- Boiled Cabbage with Smoked Pork Butt
- Irish Boiled Dinner
The meal I decided to make was excellent. It was hardy, flavorful, and I look forward to a cool winter day to make this again.
Dublin Coddle is a dish that is thought to have originated with using leftover meats on Thursday before not being allowed to eat meat on Friday. Another story is that an Irish wife would make this meal and leave it on the stove top for her husband when he would come in from the pub. If you click on the link above, there is another recipe for Dublin Coddle that is somewhat different from the one below. The ingredients are the same but the method is different.
I cut the recipe in half when I made this and we barely had leftovers because it was a big hit. This would be a great dish to make for a long day of watching football games or as a dish to take to a football watching party.
- 1 1/2 pounds of pork sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Buy good sausage either from a butcher/meat store or from the counter at the grocery.
- 1 1/2 pounds of smoked ham, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 quart of boiling water
- 2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the sausage and ham in the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes.
- Drain, but reserve the liquid.
- Put the meat into a large saucepan (or an oven-proof dish) with the onions, potatoes, and parsley.
- I used my go-to dutch oven.
- Add enough of the stock to not quite cover the contents.
- Cover the pot and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until the liquid is reduced by half and all of the ingredients are cooked but not mushy.
- If the liquid is not reducing, remove the during the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking. You may need to do this if you are using a dutch oven that recirculates the steam.
- Season with salt and pepper.
I love kale. I will take any opportunity to cook with kale. This dish did not turn out as I hoped. After making it I went online and found another version, which there are many. And there is a song about Colcannon you can listen to get in the spirit.
And, if that is not enough, according to Irish Tranditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland’s Heritage by Darina Allen, it is an old Irish Halloween tradition is to serve colcannon with a ring and a thimble hidden in the fluffy green-flecked dish. Prizes of small coins such as threepenny or sixpenny bits were also concealed in it.
- 1 1/4 pounds of kale, remove the tough stems and wash well to remove any residual dirt
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds of potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup of leeks, cleaned and chopped
- 1 cup of milk
- Pinch of ground mace
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of melted butter
- In a small pot, bring the potatoes and water to cover to a boil and simmer until tender.
- Simmer the leeks in a small pot covered in the milk for 10 minutes.
- After the ten minutes has passed remove from direct heat but keep warm.
- Simmer the kale in a large pot in 2 cups of water and the oil for 10 minutes.
- Drain the kale and chop into fine pieces.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- Drain the potatoes.
- In a large bowl puree the potatoes, using a potato ricer, masher, or a hand held mixer.
- After making this, I read not to use a potato ricer or to beat with a mixer because it will make the potatoes gluey. It is true, this happened to my potatoes.
- Add the leeks with their milk and the cooked kale.
- Beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy.
- Season with mace, salt, and pepper.
- Mound on a plate and top wit melted butter.
Irish Dark Soda Bread
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of whole-wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 1/4 cups of buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well.
- Pour all of the buttermilk into the bowl at once and stir using a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed.
- Do not try to make it smooth at this point.
- Pour the contents of the bowl out onto a marble top or a plastic counter and knead for a minute or so until everything come together.
- Divide the dough into 2 portions.
- Shape each into a round leaf, pressing the top down a bit to just barely flatten it.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until brown and crunchy.
- Remove from the oven and cool on racks.