By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
Judyrae Kruse is taking some well-earned time off. Here is an encore column from March 2008.
Am I or am I not the only one of us counting down the days to March 17?
Don’t answer that.
Hopefully, though, and assuming that there are at least some somebody else out there determined to put a little Irish this or that on the dinner table come St. Patrick’s Day, here it comes.
It’s simple, easy, comfy, plain and oh-so-humble. Personally, I love it.
The “it” here is based on a recipe for something called Dublin coddle, and it’s lifted from the pages of “The Irish Heritage Cookbook,” wherein we learn that the dish is one of the oldest of Irish recipes, something traditionally cooked for Saturday nights.
Having whiled away a bit of the afternoon in a pub, you see, the head of the household could be late home and later yet to the dinner table.
Not surprisingly, then, this sturdy meat-and-spuddy combo not only holds well for a while in the oven, it’s said to reheat to equally fine form.
Because a couple of the ingredients (the slab bacon and bangers) are sometimes hard to come by around here, I’ve localized it to match stuff we can readily buy at any supermarket.
If, say, you can’t come up with any slab bacon, use smoked pork jowl instead.
Can’t find bangers? Silvana Meats at Silvana makes these. But, be forewarned: They’re extremely popular with patrons, so they sell out fast. Meaning, alas and oh, woe, they are not always available. Just substitute any good-quality franks.
The recipe also calls for potatoes (well, of course, it does!), onions and parsley. All always in plentiful supply at grocery stores.
As given here, and adjusted to suit my own taste, the recipe makes only enough for two hearty helpings. It’s easy, though, to increase the amount of servings to three, four or more — just do it in per-person increments — a half-pound of slab bacon/pork jowl, one banger or frank, two spuds, one onion.
And don’t forget to increase the size of the cooking pot, if you enlarge the helpings.
The “Irish Heritage” book suggests brown soda bread and a glass of stout or dry red wine as good go-withs for this dish.
Puget Sound-style Dublin coddle
1 pound slab bacon or smoked pork jowl, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 bangers or 2 franks, cut crosswise in quarters
2 large onions, sliced, divided
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced fresh parsley to taste
Spread the bacon or pork jowl pieces evenly over bottom of large Dutch oven. Add just enough water to cover meat, cover pan tightly and simmer about 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add banger or frank pieces, pushing in between bacon or jowl pieces. Cover the meat with half of the onion, then half of the potatoes, sprinkling each layer with salt, pepper and parsley. Repeat onion and potato layers, again sprinkling with the salt, pepper and parsley.
Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.
Makes 2 servings.
The next Forum column will appear in the comics pages on March 15.