I love the name of this dish. It sounds like a snuggle with an Irish hunk, like that guy from P.S., I Love You; Gerard something-or-other.
I did some research and the recipe I came up with is a conglomerate of suggestions and tweaks, but was closest to one found on Food.com, even though the author lifted the description word for word from a European Cuisines post.
Coddle is traditionally associated with Dublin and dates back at least to the eighteenth century. It was apparently a favorite of Jonathan Swift, Sean O’Casey and is mentioned in the works of James Joyce. Considered comfort food and a convenience dish, it is also inexpensive, easy to make, and can be left on a low stove or warming in the oven for a quite a while without suffering too much. Sounds like the precurser to crock-pot cooking!
While researching the recipe, I noticed a remark left by a reader suggested to add a packet of chicken noodle soup mix, that in addition to the flavor it adds, the noodles would help thicken the broth. That made sense to me and since I had some handy, I tossed it in there. Maybe not eighteenth century authentic, but we all agreed we liked the dish that way. The broth did in fact thicken up and it plated nicely. We loved it and I see plenty of Dublin Coddle in our future. After all, it starts with bacon and ends with hard cider – what’s not to love? Sláinte!
Sources: A Little Irish Cookbook, Appletree, 1986
Wikipedia and European Cuisines websites.
Adapted from a recipe on Food.com
1/2 pound bacon
1 pound good quality pork sausage (I used sweet Italian sausage)
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 packet Lipton chicken noodle soup mix
1 small bunch fresh herbs, tied together with string (I used thyme and parsley)
1 bottle hard cider (some for the pot, some for you)
Fresh parsley for garnish
Special equipment: I large heavy pot with a tight fitting lid
Brown bacon until crisp. Place in cooking pot. Brown sausages in bacon fat. Add to cooking pot. Sprinkle packet of soup mix over meats. Add two cups water. Soften sliced onions in the bacon fat and a minute or two before they’re done, add the garlic and stir around. Add to cooking pot layering carrots next and then potatoes. Add the bundle of herbs and push down into the middle. Add hard cider just to reach the potatoes (should only be another cup or two). Sprinkle potatoes with freshly ground black pepper. Cover tightly and bring JUST to a simmer then turn heat down. It should not boil. Cook on low like this for 2-3 hours. Half an hour before you want to eat, check and make sure the carrots are done. If they aren’t, raise the heat a bit until they are cooked through. By now, broth should have thickened enough that you can serve this on a plate. Taste broth right before serving and add salt or pepper, if needed. Great served with Irish soda bread or spotted dog.