Coddle or Dublin Coddle, as it is popularly known, is a traditional pork based stew eaten by the people of Dublin. This stew was favored by many of the think tanks of Irish literature particularly: Jonathan Swift and Sean O Casey and it also mentioned in many of the literary creations of 1800’s and 1900’s. It is believed that great litterateur James Joyce used to prepare this dish regularly at his short lived Dublin restaurant Finnegan’s Wok. There are also reports that Luke Kelly used to have this stew daily.
The dish is mostly savored during the winter months. It is typically considered a comfort food because it is very easy to cook and often inexpensive due to the choice of combining ingredients.
Origin of Coddle Recipe
It is relatively unknown as to when was coddle cooked for the first time but it is generally believed that the dish was first cooked during the great famine of Ireland in 1765-1767. During the famine many of the farmers migrated to Dublin and brought with them their pigs for personal consumption. They axed their pigs and saved the better meats by pickling for year around consumption. The bad cuts were used for the sausage preparation which was often shared with neighbors and the manure was utilized for farming purposes. During that time many of the dishes containing pork, bacon and sausages were developed of which the coddle became the most famous dish. The poorest families always used cheaper ingredients like pieces of sausages and bacon to prepare this dish.
In the later years the dish was most famously considered as mush have food on Thursdays because on Fridays most of the Catholics avoided meats. They used all the remaining meat on Thursday to cook the food.
Ingredients Prescribed by Basic Coddle Recipe and Method of Preparation
Adhering to the requirements of the basic recipe ingredients like bacon bits, sausages, onions, black pepper and parsley were used in the preparation of the dish. The dish preparation begins by layering the ingredients in a heavy metal pot. The sausages are mostly placed on the top layer and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The dish is cooked at low heat for about 2 hours or it is prepared in oven at 120 degree Celsius.
Some old recipe variations may suggest adding auld drops or a tint of Guinness while cooking the food. It is mostly discarded by the modern recipe versions. The dish is mainly served with coddle sauce which is prepared by browning potatoes in juices and meat stock. It is normally said that every Irish cook has his own way of cooking the dish.
Dublin Coddle: Eating and Serving
The dish is mostly eaten and served with Irish soda bread and special sauce. Coddle is normally eaten as a late supper dish.