Dublin Coddle is a classic pub meal you won’t want to miss, this Irish stew is made in one pot with bacon, sausage, onions, carrots, and a golden potato crust. A dash of Guinness makes the broth sooooo good!
Dublin coddle is a homey, affordable, Irish stew
It’s nourished families during the long winter months for generations. It’s more user friendly than lamb stew or corned beef, and just as delicious, if not more so! Make it for St Patrick’s Day, or any day you just want a comforting meal on the table in about an hour. Once you try this classic sausage and potato casserole you might want to do as the Irish do and vary it up with whatever leftovers you’ve got. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, turnips, or rutabaga would all be good choices.
It means to simmer gently, referring to the way the stew is braised on a low heat until everything is tender. Traditionally it might cook away on a low fire all day long, but we don’t have time for that! Besides, I like my veggies to have a little bite left in them 😉 so this one hour version is a win win.
According to Wiki: “Coddle is particularly associated with the capital of Ireland, Dublin. It was reputedly a favorite dish of the writers Seán O’Casey and Jonathan Swift, and it appears in several references to Dublin, including the works of James Joyce.”
what you’ll need for this quick cooking Irish coddle
Like many Irish stews, this one has a simple list of ingredients and a rich, earthy flavor without lots of herbs and spices.
- sausage ~ bangers, which are a pork sausage, are traditional but sometimes hard to find in the US. I’ve used bratwurst with success.
- bacon ~ (rashers) give this stew great flavor.
- leeks ~ I love their mild buttery flavor.
- carrots ~ they add sweetness, color, and nutrition to the dish.
- pearl barley ~ gives the broth body and makes the stew extra hearty.
- chicken broth
- beer ~ use what you’ve got, but if you happen to have a Guinness…
- bay leaves ~ the subtle flavor of bay is lovely in this stew.
- Yukon gold potatoes ~ other waxy potatoes will work. Russets (baking potatoes) tend to fall apart.
- parsley ~ a small but essential element to brighten the finished dish.
- salt and pepper
- butter ~ I brush it on the potato crust before it goes in the oven.
You’ll also need a heavy oven proof braising pan, or Dutch oven (with a lid) for this stew that cooks first on the stove top, and finishes in the oven.
simple layering technique for this Irish stew
- Lay down a layer of onions, leeks, and carrots in the fat that was rendered when you browned the bacon and sausage. No need to sauté them.
- Top with your crisped bacon and browned sausages.
- Add barley, bay leaves, stock, and ale.
- Top off with sliced potatoes.
cook time for this coddle is a quick 45 minutes
We’re all familiar with stews that need very long slow cooking to become tender and flavorful, but this one can be ‘coddled’ in 45 minutes.
Our aim is to get the sausage cooked through, the broth concentrated and thickened, and the veggies to become tender.
how to make Dublin Coddle ahead of time
You can layer up the casserole in the morning, without the sliced potato topping. Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to cook, slice and arrange the potatoes.
I don’t like to add the potato crust early because it can turn brown due to oxidation. Waxy potatoes like we’ve used here don’t brown as readily as russets because they have less starch, but I don’t take any chances.
can you make this in a slow cooker?
You can ~ just layer it up through step #7 (you’ll have to brown your meats on the stove first.)
Cook on low for 6 hours.
Be aware you won’t get the golden crust on your potatoes when you cook it this way.
what to serve with Dublin Coddle
Dublin coddle is a complete meal, combining vegetables, meats, and starch. A good ale, of course, and some sort of bread is ideal to serve alongside because there will be lots of delicious juices to sop up. Here are some suggestions:
- 8 slices thick cut bacon, rough chopped
- 8 large fresh pork sausages (or whatever sausage you can get)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 leeks, trimmed, sliced, and washed
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup barley (uncooked)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup beer
- 3 bay leaves
- salt and black pepper
- 4 large yukon gold potatoes
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- parsley, chopped
- Peel the potatoes and place in a bowl filled with cold water.
- In a large braising pan or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate, leaving a layer of grease in the pan.
- Brown the sausages on both sides, and remove the to the plate.
- Add the onons, carrots, and leeks to the pot in an even layer. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the sausage and bacon over the veggies, along with the barley and bay leaves.
- Pour the beer and broth over all. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Thinly slice the potatoes and arrange in overlapping fashion over the top of the pan.
- Bring the pan up to a boil, then turn down to low, cover, and let simmer gently (coddle it!) for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425F
- Uncover the pan, brush the potatoes with melted butter, and then put in the oven (uncovered) for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and tender. Check the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife to be sure they're tender. Note: If you like you can place the pot under the broiler briefly to get more color on the crust, but watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve asap with biscuits and beer!
notes and variations
- You can layer up the casserole in the morning, without the sliced potato topping. Cover and refrigerate.
- When ready to cook, slice and arrange the potatoes.