Irish Bacon & Potato Leek Cakes with Colcannon Butter Sauce

March 12, 2019

 

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Breakfast for dinner? Absolutely – especially if it is this dish! Irish Bacon & Potato Leek Cakes with Colcannon Butter Sauce is just amazing. Now, I know when you hear bacon, you might be thinking breakfast. But this is a pretty hardy meal and everyone knows, bacon is good anytime – breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevenses, lunch, tea, dinner, supper, late night snack…I think you get the picture.

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The bacon I used here is not the streaky bacon you are likely more familiar with. This is Irish Bacon or rashers. It is traditionally cut from the back of the pig rather than the belly, which is from where streaky bacon is cut. It is similar to Canadian Bacon, but I would say has a very different flavor. Irish Bacon, or rashers as they are usually called are cooked until done, but are not until crisp like American bacon. Truth be told, the original recipe for this dish calls for uncured loin of pork. A pork chop essentially, but I happened to have some rashers on hand, so there you have it. If you have pork chops, feel free to sub them in!

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One thing I can tell you is you are absolutely going to love this decadent, silky Colcannon Butter Sauce. I think the Husband wants to put it on everything now. And potato leek cakes are right up our alley as well. Can’t do wrong with fried potatoes, not to mention the leeks. We can’t get enough of them! All in all this meal was truly a winner and would be a perfect alternative to a corned beef & cabbage feast. Or maybe make it the day after St. Patrick’s…who says you can’t have it all!

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Irish Bacon & Potato Leek Cakes with Colcannon Butter Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: BBC Good Food

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices Irish Bacon or Rashers
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, green & white parts separated and finely sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 medium egg yolk

For the Colcannon Sauce:

  • 50 grams (1/4 stick) butter
  • 5 cabbage leaves, finely shredded
  • a small potato, finely diced
  • 4 Tablespoons white wine
  • 200 ml heavy cream

For Garnish: handful of cherry tomatoes (if desired)

Directions:

Make the potato cakes: Fry the dark green part of the leek in a little butter, and mix well with the potato, flour, cream and egg yolk.  Place the potato mixture into the refrigerator to cool. The mixture becomes easier to handle and shape when cool. Once it has chilled, then mould into four to six small round discs. Set aside until ready to serve.

Make the Colcannon Butter Sauce: Melt half the butter in a pan and add the cabbage and potato. Cook slowly for 5 mins, then pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce by half. Season and remove from the heat. Stir the rest of the butter into the sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.

Cook the Bacon: Heat a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan. Fry the rashers of bacon until they are golden on each side. Should only take a few minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.

Add a bit more butter to the pan. Sweat the remaining white part of the leeks and some tomatoes if you desire. Season to taste. Remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the potato cakes in the remaining butter for 2 minutes on each side.

Enjoy!

Irish Bacon & Potato Leek Cakes with Colcannon Butter Sauce brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Useful links for Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Bacon & Potato Leek Cakes with Colcannon Butter Sauce:

Donnelly Imported Rashers – This is for an 8 pack of bacon. More than you need for this recipe, but you might be feeding a crowd for all I know…

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Dublin Coddle

March 15, 2013

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So while we’re on the subject of traditional Irish dishes for St. Patrick’s Day, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dublin Coddle. Dublin Coddle is a stew consisting of Irish Sausages, potatoes, onions and Irish Bacon. Oh, save us! Now that is my kind of stew! It has been enjoyed in Ireland since the seventeenth century and likely before. It was a favourite of the likes of Jonathan Swift, Seán O’Casey and James Joyce. How is that for an Irish pedigree for you?! The name Coddle, likely comes from the verb “caudle” which means to cook food in water below boiling. Now that below boiling is important, this stew is meant to be simmered or braised in a slow oven or stove-top. Or even in a slow cooker set on low for 4-6 hours. You can’t rush it. Remember, according to those old Irish wives telling tales, “a stew boiled is a stew spoiled“. You must be patient. It is said that some of the popularity of this stew was due to the fact that a wife could leave it simmering on the stove for hours and it would still be delicious when her man finally arrived home from the pub, long after she’d gone to bed!

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If you had not noticed, this stew does not have a heck of a lot of ingredients to it. Sausages, bacon, potatoes, and onions. It’s very simple. But that means it is highly dependent on the quality of the few ingredients involved. You want to source out the best you can find. Now in the States, I was a bit challenged sourcing out Irish style sausages and bacon. But it can be done. I found my Irish Sausages at the Falls Church Farmers Market at Stachowski Brand Charcuterie. They also have a storefront in Georgetown, Washington DC. They did say that these sausages were “English Bangers”, but that is much closer to the style of sausages found in Ireland than the usual  U.S. breakfast sausage. (You could use a regular breakfast sausage link if pressed, but I was trying to go for as close to authentic as I could get.) As far as the bacon goes, “English Rashers” is most likely as close as you will find. Irish bacon is quite different from what we call bacon in the states. Their bacon is taken from back loin, rather than the pork belly from which ours is cut. If you can’t find rashers, go with Canadian Bacon. I was able to find “English Rashers” at the Organic Butcher of McLean. They were absolutely outstanding! Besides salt, pepper and parsley, there are not a lot of spices in Dublin Coddle. I did decide to add some garlic, which I will justify by saying it is not unlikely that garlic would have been available and used in the good old days. I also added a couple of sprigs of thyme to my Coddle, pretty much justifying its presence along the same lines as the garlic. Indeed I will even go a bit further and give you an old Irish folktale about thyme. It is said that keeping a sprig of thyme in your pocket will not only protect you from fairy mischief, but will enable you to see them clearly when passing by a fairy mound. Very useful info I would say! Now I suppose I should take a moment to tell you what is not  to be found in Dublin Coddle….According to my friend Theresa, who lives in Ireland, there are no carrots to be found in Coddle. This is apparently a source of great controversy when one discusses Coddle in Ireland. Theresa’s family clearly comes down on the anti-carrot front and that is good enough for me. No Carrots! Don’t even think about it! (I’m sure I will be getting barraged with e-mails from great old established Dublin families, regaling me with tales of carrot inclusion as you read this… Oh well, I’m sticking to my guns! No carrots I say again!)

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As far as preparation goes, it is traditional to throw all of the ingredients thus mentioned into a pot to simmer away for hours. There is no browning of anything. However, I thought a little browning was in order. I had read that this dish, although incredibly tasty, was not particularly photogenic. I thought a little browning might go a long way there. Turns out, I’m not so sure it made a difference with the photos, though I think it was beneficial to texture and am happy to recommend it. My husband had never tasted Dublin Coddle before and was definitely intrigued as he watched me run hither and thither to gather all of the “required” ingredients. He was not disappointed when presented with a big bowl of Dublin Coddle with a side of Brown Bread to soak up the sauce. Coddle proves “Looks aren’t everything”. It is warm, hearty and delicious, a veritable “hug in a bowl”. Irish comfort food at its best!

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Dublin Coddle

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. Irish Bacon
  • 2 lb. Irish Sausages
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 springs thyme, leaves only
  • 4 lbs. potatoes, such as russests or Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 Cups ham stock (you could use chicken broth if you can’t find ham stock)
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed fry pan. Add the Irish sausages. Cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Cook the bacon until brown, but not crispy. Transfer to a plate. Add the onions and garlic, saute until translucent.

Place a large dutch oven over low heat. Layer 1/2 of the onion/garlic mixture in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 of the sliced potatoes.

Roughly chop the bacon and add to the pan over the potatoes.

Cut each sausage link in half or into thirds (your preference) and add it to the pan over the bacon. Cover sausage with sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.

Top with the remaining onions and potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups of ham broth over layers.

Cover dutch oven and leave simmering on stove for 1 1/2 hours over low heat. About 30 minutes prior to serving, stir in 1/4 cup of cream or milk to further thicken the stew. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley when ready to serve.

Enjoy!


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