It’s time to welcome another guest blogger! This time it’s Heidi Medina from FlyAwayU, She is a freelance food, travel and healthy lifestyle writer from Denver, USA who is currently travelling the world, working as she goes,with her husband. She’s talking about an Irish dish called the Dublin Coddle (yep, it’s new to me too!) and has kindly shared her travel story about it AND a recipe so we can all try it at home! Thanks Heidi!
Holding a frosty pint of cider and a menu, I slide onto a wood bench for lunch at the Gravedigger’s pub in Dublin, Ireland. Eager for a rest after a morning of sightseeing at the National Botanical Gardens and the Glasnevin Cemetery, both David and I were ready to enjoy the flavours of Ireland while we caught our breath.
John Kavanagh’s Pub, aka the Gravedigger’s Pub, has been serving the Glasnevin gravediggers and Dublin locals since 1833. And you can feel the history of the place, especially when you stop into the original section of the pub which bleeds the scent of Guinness and tobacco out its dark, homey pores. Locals chat in the dark corners and the bartenders sweet talk the ladies, while pouring perfectly cream topped Guinness into pint after pint.
We ordered our pints, soothing our parched throats while checking out the old photos gracing the walls. It wasn’t long before our tummies protested from not receiving any tasty bites, so we grabbed our drinks, dropped a few quid on the counter and headed over to the new section for a bite to eat. Don’t worry you can still order more Guinness or cider on the new side as well.
Quick tip #1: John Kavanagh is a cash-only establishment but don’t worry if you forget. The bartenders are happy to direct you to a close ATM so you won’t miss out on the experience.
Quick tip #2: Don’t take photos of the locals without asking when in the pub. It’s considered rude and can get you thrown out.
On first glance, the menu is a small mishmash of pasta and sandwiches, interspersed with a couple of Irish dishes. Everything looks yummy but that could have just been my hungry tummy talking. It’s pretty indiscriminate when it’s hungry!
With a beautiful Irish brogue, the waitress recommended I try the Dublin Coddle. “What’s a Dublin Coddle?” I asked. It turns out a Dublin Coddle is a simple dish featuring a delicious broth, onions, potatoes, Irish sausage, giant pieces of Irish bacon, parsley and thyme. It’s as simple as that. Nothing complicated.
The Dublin Coddle isn’t the lowest fat item on the menu. And you have to LOVE meat. But it’s so yummy, it’s worth forgetting the diet for. Especially if it’s cold outside and you want to feel that warm, contented, fuzzy feeling on the inside. The broth alone is comfort food at its finest (I want a huge vat of it for the next time I have a cold).
Making the Dublin Coddle at Home
Now back home in Denver, the only way to enjoy a Dublin Coddle is to make my own (no Irish restaurants here).
A quick bit of online research tells me there’s no real right or wrong way to make a Dublin Coddle. It seems everyone in Dublin has their own special top secret recipe. And now I do as well! Except mine isn’t so top secret because I’m sharing it with you.
My biggest goal was to keep the simplicity but increase the veggies and cut the meat. I substituted turnips for half the potatoes and added carrots, leeks and garlic. And since I couldn’t find Irish sausage (a real loss. Irish sausages are soooo good), I used breakfast sausage instead. I also used thick-cut bacon. But ham is closer to Irish bacon if you want a more authentic dish. I highly recommend searing the sausage. Searing gives it a gorgeous, tasty brown coat and adds flavour. Otherwise, you have pale, lifeless coloured sausages that look more like boiled fingers. But braising in the broth is the authentic way!
Finish is all off with a thick slice (or two) of Irish Brown Bread, perfect for helping you not miss a drop of that beautiful broth. And now that I’m finished writing this post, I’m missing the tastes of Ireland something fierce. Time to go make a pot of Dublin Coddle. Wanna join me?
My Slightly Less Than Authentic Dublin Coddle Recipe
The simple goodness of a warming slightly less than authentic Dublin Coddle made with a tasty broth, lots of vegetables and plenty of pork.
Grab a deal for your next trip to Dublin: