Recipe for Dublin Coddle


1 lb bacon bits (pref. smoked)
1 lb good meaty sausages
3 each large onions
3 each potatoes (or even four)
1 single handful fresh parsley
1 single grind fresh pepper


Bacon bits are the off-cuts from the various types of bacon, which are sold very cheaply in Dublin pork butchers' shops, specifically for making coddle. They contain a good mixture of fat, lean and skin. I prefer to buy regular bacon with the rind on and cut it up into even-sized pieces. Leave on the rind, as it adds great richness to the soup. Buy the finest quality pork sausages you can afford (or find). Peel and chop the onions roughly. Peel the potatoes as thinly as possible. If they are large, then cut them into two or three large pieces; otherwise leave them whole. Chop the fresh parsley. -- Place a layer of onions in the bottom of a heavy pot with a good close-fitting lid. Layer all the other ingredients, giving each layer a grind or so of fresh-ground pepper. Add no more than 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat at once, cover tightly, and barely simmer for 2 to 5 hours. The perfect way to cook it is in a heavy casserole pot in a very low oven at 250F. I know this sounds vague, but if the pot is heavy and the lid tight, it really can't come to any harm. The longer and slower the cooking, the better. If you prefer, before serving, remove the sausages and quickly brown them on one side under the broiler. Serve with white soda farl to mop up the soup, and bottles of stout.

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