Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Traditional Food

One of my favorite things about Irish cooking and it's history is how the dishes always make use of ingredients that are readily available and inexpensive. That's why many of the recipes for traditional Irish dishes use lamb (mutton), potatoes and onions. I have articles on Old Fashioned Living for many of the traditional Irish potato dishes and breads, which I'll give links to at the end of today's blog, so today I thought I'd share a few recipes I hadn't written about previously.

Dublin Coddle is most likely a dish that developed from the Irish stew recipe, replacing the lamb with bacon and sausage. Some recipes add carrots and garlic as well.

Dublin Coddle

1 1/2 pounds thick pork sausages, sliced, 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds slab or thick sliced bacon, diced (1 inch)
1 quart boiling water
2 large yellow onions, peeled, sliced thin
2 pounds potatoes, peeled, thickly sliced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Boil the water in a large pan. Place the sausage and in the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, and place in a large ovenproof dish or Dutch oven. Layer the meat with the onions potatoes and parsley. Pour over the liquid so it JUST covers the meat and vegetables. Cover and either cook slowly on top of the stove or put in the oven and cook at 350 degrees F. Cook for about an hour until the liquid is half absorbed. Taste to season more if needed. Serve hot with bread.

There are several versions of who first made Irish Coffee, but most agree it was created in the 1940's in an Irish airport and served much like a hot toddy to cold and wet tourists. Below is a recipe that is similar to the original Irish Coffee drink.

Irish Coffee

1/2 cup strong coffee
1/4 quality Irish whiskey
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, not white
3 tbsp. heavy cream

Rinse a glass mug with hot water to warm the glass. Add the hot coffee to the mug immediately, stir in the whiskey and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Froth the heavy cream quickly, and pour it slowly over the back of a spoon that is held JUST above the coffee, so it floats on top. Serve hot without stirring. The whiskey laced coffee should be sipped through the cream.

Shepherd's Pie is another example of using what's on hand because it uses leftovers. The recipe below is pretty basic. Use leftover beef of any type, but roast beef works really well. The mashed potatoes should be fairly creamy, and adding shredded cheddar cheese makes a nice addition. Don't be afraid to add extra spices, a little extra meat, or other vegetables such as peas or cabbage.

Shepherd's Pie

2 tablespoons oil
1 medium diced onion
2 thinly sliced carrots
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock
1/2 tsp. dried thyme or 1 tsp. minced fresh
1 pound cooked minced leftover beef or lamb
2 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

Add the oil to a large skillet to heat on medium. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the carrots, stir in the flour and saute until it's lightly browned. Slowly add the stock, and the thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the meat and simmer for 5 more minutes. Place in a pie dish and cover with the mashed potatoes. Place into the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Boxty, Champ, and Irish Stew:

Traditional Colcannon:

Irish Tea Traditions:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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