I know many of you will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage, and no offense to you guys (I mean, I love corned beef and cabbage, too), but this Dublin coddle is what you should be having instead. It’s hearty, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and from my research, it’s a more authentic way to celebrate Ireland than corned beef.
Granted, I’m pretty much the last person who should be writing with any authority about Irish culture. The entirety of my education on Ireland came from this awesome Irish restaurant in my college town that I went to weekly. I don’t have many Irish ancestors. I’ve never been to Ireland. But that doesn’t make this any less delicious. So I’m going with it.
What is Irish coddle anyway?
If you’ve never had Dublin coddle before, it’s somewhat like the Irish version of beef stew. It’s bacon, pork sausages, onions, and potatoes, all long-stewed in a thick brown gravy. Everything I’ve seen about coddle talks about its working-class roots. This isn’t a delicate meal. This is the kind of meal that can slow cook away in the oven for hours and hours and hours while you’re working hard, and still be delicious when you come home.
Another tidbit I’ve read about coddle—every family seems to have their own special recipe. One true “authentic” version of coddle doesn’t really exist—it changes based on what’s available. Basically, you put whatever you have kicking around your kitchen into a pot, and it always turns out delicious. Because bacon. My version will guarantee tasty results, but feel free to experiment!
Can you make this in the slow cooker?
This is a slow-cooked recipe that I actually don’t recommend doing in the slow cooker! This coddle cooks for 2-3 hours in a very low oven, and while you could do it in the slow cooker, most slow cookers cook with very moist heat. Sometimes I find that moist heat actually makes potatoes go mushy instead of tender and soft. And considering this stew is 75% about the delicious, pillowy potato bites? No one wants them to be mushy. Mushy potatoes are great for mashed potatoes, less great for a stew.
Instead, I recommend investing in a nice, sturdy, cast iron Dutch oven, and doing this baby at a low temp in your oven. There are a lot of really beautiful and really expensive Dutch ovens out there, but the one I always recommend to folks is the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It runs right around $60, comes in beautiful colors, and works like a champ! I’ve had mine for years.
What kind of sausage do you use in coddle?
Traditional Irish sausages can be a bit tricky to track down here in the U.S., so I recommend going with any high-quality pork sausage you can find. I’ve used both bratwurst and Polish sausage in this recipe with good results.
What’s the best kind of beer to use in this stew?
Why, Guinness, of course! I highly recommend keeping on theme here and going with Guinness stout. Thanks to some wonderful Dubliners that took the time to comment on this post (seriously, thank you!), I now know that many people consider coddle a white stew with no beer in it. But Irish chef and author of The Irish Cookbook, Jp McMahon says in the headnotes for his coddle recipe that, “Often it contained a drop of Guinness (or it was eaten with plenty of pints and soda bread).” So if you choose to go the beer route, I think it’s safe to say that Guinness is a perfectly fine choice! Of course, any other dark beer would do the trick—either a stout or porter. Buy a six-pack and put one in the stew and drink the rest with dinner! #pleasedrinkresponsibly
What if you don’t want to use beer?
No problemo! Just sub in more beef or chicken stock in place of the beer. It’ll change the flavor slightly, but your coddle will still be delicious.
What to serve with Dublin Coddle?
I think it’s just wrong to serve coddle without a side of warm, crusty homemade soda bread! I always like to make a green salad to go along with the coddle and bread to give us something fresh on our plates, too.
It’s easy to think that there is no way this Dublin Coddle is going to be flavorful enough. It seems too simple to be delicious, but magic happens in that oven! Seriously. Mag-ic. This dish is bursting with flavor that only gets better and better as leftovers. Enjoy!
I made this as a healing comfort food for my Covid ailing friend. You’ll all be shuttering because I added amazing turnips and carrots so we could have extra vitamin C, B, magnesium, potassium, etc. I didn’t use any Guinness but will tell you I did add a dollop of horseradish/Dijon mustard for the broth. It was amazing! I also made good ole honey white wheat bread with Kerrygold butter. It was delicious and I fully expect complete healing or death from gluttony. (Just nurse humor here).
Thank you for the recipe template…you’re a peach!
Does it matter what kind of potatoes you use? I assumed russets but the photos look like gold potatoes?
Whatever potatoes you have on hand should work—russets are fine! If you normally would use it in a stew, it’ll be perfect for this. Let us know how it turns out for you!
Made this for a St. Paddy’s celebration- it was good! Used bratwurst sausage and left it overnight to scoop off the fat.
Glad you liked it, Marcia! Thanks for taking the time to tell us about it! =)
THIS IS NOT DUBLIN CODDLE !
There is NO Beef in Coddle !
It Does Not contain beef stock.
Dublin Coddle is white.
Then there is Irish Stew, usually beef, lamb and mince (ground) beef.
This recipe is confused – it is combining Dublin Coddle and Irish Stew.
Search on http://www.bordbia.ie for the real dish.
Hi Patrick! Thanks for taking the time to educate us. We hear you and we respect your opinion!
This Coddle takes longer than 15 minutes to prep. Crisping the bacon alone takes 15 minutes. It took me 40 minutes to prep, but it was delicious.
Thanks for your feedback, Mary! We appreciate you taking the time to come back and share your experience—and we’re so happy you liked it!
Do you think it would taste okay to prepare this dish, refrigerate it, and reheat it in two days? Thanks for your advice!
Hi Janna! Yes—the flavors get better and better and it reheats beautifully! You can definitely make it ahead with no worries. Let us know how you like it! =)
I’m a Dubliner raised on Coddle to be fair not bad for an American version which I would label a sausage casserole. First of all Coddle isn’t a version of stew, Irish Stew is already a thing…made with Mutton/lamb or a darker stew with beef and Guinness. Coddle is it’s own dish.
Authentic coddle recipe is to put everything in to a stew pot – quarter good large boiling potatoes, onions, good quality Irish chipolata size sausages, and a diced up bacon joint, some small bacon ribs, cover with water and add a few chicken or ham stock cubes. Boil then simmer til cooked then season and add chopped parsley. Serve with a Guinness and soda bread with Kerry gold. Nothing is browned but simmered(coddle hence the name) there is no beer used and definitely no garlic. German and polish sausages are too strong if no Irish get British ones if stuck
Thanks for taking the time to educate us and share your story, Vinny. We really appreciate it!
Why did you have to look up a recipe if you already knew how to make it “correctly”
Dublin coddle is completely underrated like stew but I always found it more tasty.
The recipe you have used is a well updated version as the original was less appealing to some just on looks of the dish as instead of the sausages and bacon fried or browned they where boiled in the pot of stock and no garlic .
Also if you where lucky to have a btl of guiness to add that would have been a treat .
Just a few quick notes from an Irish person and a dub. We never use Guinness ever in a coddle . Only in a beef stew and not always . Traditional Irish sausages taste nothing like polish or German sausages they use lots more spices . Lastly we never ever call them bangers that is 100% a British thing not Irish and offensive to Irish people haha! Anyway not a Dublin coddle but looks like a lovely yummy sausage casserole that I’d happily try one day!
Hi, Moc! Thank you so much for calling us out and helping to educate us! We really appreciate the honest feedback. We’re going to do more research and adjust this recipe to be more culturally appropriate.