Irish I had a recipe for St. Patrick’s Day…
If you like to stay in on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s your lucky day. Whether your ancestors hail from Donegal, Dublin or Dallas, here are a few tried and true favorites from someone who pretty much doesn’t have a drop of Irish in her blood. One thing you can count on with these recipes: potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, bread, bacon, and meat. All are hearty staples that would get Irish folk through the remainder of a harsh, damp winter (or so I’m told) and they’re sure to make your friends green with envy if you don’t invite them over for supper.
Dublin Coddle (Recipe adapted from www.MrsHappyHomemaker.com)
I was inspired to make this recipe after reading local blogger Crystal Faulkner’s, take on it. This hearty, simple dish of sausages, bacon, and potatoes smells so good cooking, and it is even better with a great local ale as the braising liquid. This can be made low and somewhat slow in the oven or on the stove top. (The slow-go of it is for the benefit of amazing flavors.)
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
6 pork sausages, bangers or Bratwurst.
12 oz. of thick cut bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and
sliced 1/2-inch thick or use several small potatoes, sliced thin
1-2 large onions, sliced into 1/2-inch half rings
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup stout beer (or beef broth) but please do beer
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced – plus extra for sprinkling pepper
If using an oven, preheat to 300 degrees.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sear the sausage (or Bratwurst) in the bacon grease until brown. Remove the sausages from the pan to drain with the bacon. Slice into 2-inch chunks once slightly cooled or you can leave them whole.
Remove all but about 1/4 of bacon grease from the pan. Add the sliced onion to the pot, and cover. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add in the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, and a sprinkling of pepper. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Pour the onion/beer mixture into a separate dish for a moment.
Layer the sliced potatoes along the bottom of your Dutch oven. Pour the onion/broth mixture over top. Add in 1/2 of the cooked bacon and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley. Place the whole sausages on top.
Cover, cook for 45 minutes on the stove or in the oven. Remove from the heat and pour in the cup of beer (or broth). Replace the cover, and return to the heat for another 45 minutes.
Top with the remaining bacon and a few more sprinkles of fresh parsley once it’s done. Serve with crusty bread or Irish Soda Bread.
*If you want all your bacon crispy, then save it all for the end.
Guinness Beef Roast/Stew
This is another hearty meat and potatoes, bone-warming stew. Once again, the added component of a hearty stout adds a level of complexity. You can use Guinness here again, as it’s so widely available, but I definitely recommend going local and using Highland Brewing’s Black Mocha Stout or Foothills’ Sexual Chocolate. But really, any stout or dark beer will do. This can be made in the slow cooker as well, and the recipe works fine with stew meat or a chuck roast.
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
2lbs. stew meat or chuck roast
1-2 onions finely chopped
3 carrots peeled and roughly chunked
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 large potatoes, cubed or halved new potatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
12 oz bottle of stout beer
1/2 cup-1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp. flour mixed with ½ cup water (as a slurry)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove.
Add oil or fat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper (and any other seasoning you like). Brown on all sides and set aside (you may need to do this in batches if you’re using stew meat that’s cubed up).Add the onions and carrots. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, return the beef to the pot, place on top of onions, add beef stock, stout and herbs. The liquid should come halfway up the meat. Bring mixture to a boil then lower to a simmer for 3-3 1/2 hours. Check on it periodically, and if it looks like it’s losing liquid, add a bit more broth.
After 3-4 hours the meat should be very tender. Season as needed. Serve immediately with crusty bread or soda bread.
(This recipe can be made in the slow cooker. After the meat has been browned in a skillet, transfer it and the ingredients to the cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.)
Irish Soda Bread
It’s one of the quickest, easiest breads you can make because you don’t need yeast or proofing time. In about an hour, you can have the hearty, savory version of this bread to eat with your stews above. Served best slathered in butter (and maybe a little honey). Add a few herbs or cheese to the dough if you wish. You’ll need a Dutch oven or two round cake pans for this recipe.
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan or Dutch oven.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the buttermilk until the dough comes together. It will be a sticky ball.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times gently. Using your floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Place the prepared dough into the pan and press until it almost touches the edges. Cut an “X” or the shape of a cross into the dough with a sharp knife, about 1/2-inch deep. Cover the pan of dough with another round cake pan turned upside down, or you can place the lid of the Dutch oven on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, covered, then remove the top and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes more or until the crust is dark golden brown.
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.