Irish Coddled Pork with Cider

March 14, 2020

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Ah now here is a traditional Irish dish for you – Irish Coddled Pork with Cider. If St. Patrick’s Day is at all chilly and rainy – which seems to often be the case – this slow cooked stew will really hit the spot! But what does “coddle” mean? Well, in a culinary sense it likely comes from the french verb caudle which means to cook gently, parboil or stew. You know, low and slow. Sure everyone knows a stew boiled is a stew spoiled! But I’ve also read that it comes from the Irish word cadal which means to sleep. The legend goes that the wife of the house could make up  a coddle and leave it simmering on the stove for hours. It would still be delicious when her man finally arrived home from the pub, long after she’d gone off to sleep!

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Dublin Coddle is the coddle which is best known I’d say. That Coddle is a stew consisting of Irish Sausages, potatoes, onions and Irish Bacon. 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.

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Coddles were a useful way of using up any meat on a Thursday, in times when Catholics were not supposed to eat meat on Fridays. Now a days you can enjoy a hearty coddle any time. This particular coddle recipe features a couple lovely thick cut pork chops.

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After having prepared this dish, I can definitely say it is so easy to make. You just brown the pork, chop up the veg and toss it all into a pot to simmer away. Now you do want to make sure that you have a pot with a well fitting lid so that the ingredients left uncovered by the stock/cider will be steamed. True Irish comfort food. Serve up with some soda bread or a hunk of brown bread slathered with butter. And maybe a pint or two….

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Irish Coddled Pork with Cider

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: BBC Good Food

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons good Irish butter (like Kerrygold)
  • 2 Pork Loin Chops
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, chopped into pieces
  • 2 potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 carrot, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 rutabaga (swede, turnip) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 small cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100 ml Irish cider
  • 100 ml chicken stock

Directions:

Heat butter in a casserole dish until sizzling. I used a Le Creuset oval casserole #27 (6 quart). Brown the pork chops on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Place the bacon, carrot, potatoes and rutabaga in the pan and fry until just starting to color. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a few more minutes. Nestle the chops into the vegetables. Add the bay leaf and then pour the cider and stock over the top. Cover the pan and continue to simmer on low until the pork is cooked through (145°F/ 63°C) and the vegetables are tender.

Enjoy!

Irish Coddled Pork with Cider brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Coddled Pork with Cider:

Le Creuset Cast Iron Signature Casserole

 

 


Czech Guláš served with Knedlicky (dumplings)

February 21, 2014

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Guláš, or goulash, a soup or stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika may have Hungarian origins, but it is also quintessentially Czech. Every pub or restaurant that you go to there has their own unique version. Often it is served with Knedlicky (bread dumplings), but I’ve also seen it in a bread bowl or simply with potatoes. I can tell you this first hand because I was lucky enough to actually visit Prague back in September! In my last blog I mentioned that I had met my husband in Berlin after he finished with a work conference there. Well once we met up, we jumped on a train and high-tailed it to Prague! Now Berlin was very nice. I would definitely visit again given the chance, but Prague….well …what can I say…I am completely smitten! It was just stunningly beautiful! I really fell in love with it!

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And as much as I liked our hotel in Berlin, Casa Camper, I completely adored The Golden Well (U Zlaté Studně), the boutique hotel where we stayed in Prague. I think it may indeed be my all time favourite hotel. The hotel is ideally located at the end of a quiet, cobbled, pedestrian street, right up against the walls of Prague Castle in the historic Malá Strana (Little Quarter) district.

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Every single room in the hotel seemed to offer gorgeous vistas over the city.

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Centrally located, it was only a short walk to get to Charles Bridge, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Old Town Square and the Jewish Quarter, yet so removed from the hustle and bustle of some areas of the city, it was a tranquil and peaceful oasis. The hotel and its exceptional staff truly exceeded our expectations. Our room was very luxurious and large. There was a bottle of wine waiting for us when we arrived,

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as well as nightly bedside turn-down treats on the bedside table and a pillow menu. Yup…you heard me right. Pillow menu! You could choose a different style pillow, or two every night…”tonight I think I will go will the wool, lavender scented pillow” Yay! And the staff could not have been more friendly and attentive. As soon as we checked in we were offered a drink and snacks while a hotel representative went over a map of the city with us, advising us on possible destinations. Each afternoon wine and nibbles were served in the lounge. The breakfasts were out of this world. Not only were they served on a terrace which provided breathtaking views over the city, but they were so delicious and plentiful. I must admit this is the first time I have been exposed to the concept of the “breakfast dessert”. Just sounds great huh? Well let me explain. We were served a full cooked breakfast, you know, eggs, sausages, hash browns along with the well stocked breakfast buffet items. When we finished, our server asked if we were now ready for our “breakfast dessert” which would consist of pancakes or french toast! As much as we adored the idea, we were not able to take her up on it but it is good to keep in mind for the future! I just can not praise this hotel enough, and even if I didn’t care for Prague at all, which I assure you is not the case, I would be tempted return to the Golden Well as a destination all in itself! Over our four days in the city, we spent quite a lot of time at the Prague Castle Complex, thoroughly explored St. Vitus Cathedral,

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climbed to the top of the bell tower for fantastic views over the city,

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took a leisurely stroll over Charles Bridge,

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Commissioned by Emperor Charles VI in1357 and lined with statues of the Saints, it spans the Vlatava River connecting Prague Castle and Old Town.

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saw the astronomical clock strike the hour

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The astronomical clock was built in 1490.

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On its hourly chiming there is a procession of the 12 apostles, Death rings a bell and inverts his hourglass.

and climbed Old Town Hall tower to take in the view as well (can’t get enough of those stairs!),

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Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. Final resting place of Tycho Brahe.

roamed the Jewish Quarter,

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The Old Jewish Cemetery was in use from early 15th Century up until 1787. It was the only place in which Prague’s Jewish citizens could be buried.

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When they ran out of land they began to layer graves on top of one another. There are approximately 12 layers of graves, 12,000 tombstones and up to 100,000 burials.

climbed to the top of Petřín Hill

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and hung out with some monastic brewers at the Strahov Monastery Brewery.

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Actually, we might have spent more than our fair share of time sampling the local brews!

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Whew! What a fantastic time! Needless to say, we worked up quite an appetite! And, to our delight,  pretty much every restaurant or pub we visited in that magical city had guláš on the menu. We tried out our fair share of them and enjoyed them all. Apparently Czech Guláš  is slightly different from the guláš offered in other countries in that it is a mostly beef based, thick stew served with bread dumplings and often garnished with fresh raw onions. I couldn’t wait to get back to my humble kitchen and try to figure out a good recipe. The bread dumplings were new to me, being more familiar with our big southern fluffy chicken and dumpling style dumplings. I went ahead and gave you a recipe for these Knedlicky and feel it was very similar to the dumplings we ate in Prague.

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Definitely a new dumpling concept for me and I had a great time trying it out. I did seem so odd though, making a yeast bread dough and also adding bits of stale bread to the mix and then boiling it…who thought that up?! But they are just perfect for mopping up all that lovely guláš sauce. The morning after our guláš feast, we even fried a bunch of bread dumplings up in butter with our scrambled eggs and sausage and they were really tasty! We were very pleased with this version of Czech Guláš.

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Quite fortuitously I made a huge pot of it right before our last big snow storm and it went a long way towards keeping the chill away on those frigid nights . Not to mention, its very presence couldn’t help but to  call to mind the heart warming memories from our Prague holiday. I can not wait to go back!

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Czech Guláš

yield: 6 -8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. beef stew meat (boneless chuck roast), cubed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to season meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to season meat
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced into rings
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 oz. Pilsner Urquell beer
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal ( or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup water

for garnish:

  • onions
  • hot red peppers
  • parsley

Directions:

In a 12″ skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high. Working in batches, add beef which has been seasoned with salt and pepper to the pan and brown on all sides. Remove to platter and set aside.

In same skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute onions until tender. Add garlic, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring mixture continuously for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Mix beef broth, pilsner beer and tomato paste together. Place browned beef and onion mixture into slow cooker. Pour broth mixture over meat and onions. Add salt, pepper, marjoram and cinnamon. Stir until ingredients are well combined.

Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, whisk cornmeal with water until smooth. Stir mixture into Guláš to thicken.

Garnish each bowl with onion, spicy red pepper and fresh chopped parsley.

Serve with 3-4 Knedlicky per helping. (recipe below) Or alternatively, serve in bread bowls.

Knedlicky

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 grams yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups cubed white bread

Directions:

Place milk in saucepan and warm to lukewarm (95° F). Pour 1/2 cup of warmed milk into bowl of stand mixer. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes or so until foamy.

Add the egg yolk and remainder of yeast and stir on low speed with the paddle attachment. Begin adding the flour, about 1 cup at a time. Add the cubed bread. If mixture seems too dry, add a bit more milk. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 8 minutes. The dough should be elastic.

Dust work surface with flour and divide dough into 4 equal peices. Shape each into oblong rolls. Place rolls on parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 1 hour or until approximately doubled in size.

When dough is ready, prepare a large pot of salted, boiling water. Carefully slide dumpling rolls, two at a time, into boiling water. Cover pot and reduce to simmer. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes, turning rolls several times so that they will cook evenly.

Remove from boiling water and place on cutting board. Cut dumplings into 1/4″ slices using string and serve immeadiately with Guláš. (if you want “neater” edges to your dumplings, use biscuit cutter )

Wrap any left over dumplings in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. To reheat the dumplings, place in steamer basket and steam for about 8 minutes.

Enjoy!


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!


Chorizo & White Bean Stew

February 25, 2013

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I love this Chorizo and White Bean Stew! Hearty and spicy, it’s just the thing to warm you up this winter. I know that the old ground hog said winter was over, but I don’t think he consulted with Mother Nature on the subject before he made his announcement. It is still quite cold around here! So this stew is just perfect. Chock full of spinach, it tastes wonderfully fresh and has just got to be good for you. And it has beans in it! As I’ve mentioned, beans are a great healthy choice. My husband loves them and I’m starting to come around. I was definitely digging the cannellini beans in this dish. Not to mention that spicy chorizo sausage.

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Yuu-um! For those of you out there who aren’t big fans of spicy food, you can tone this recipe down by using a mild Italian sausage rather than the chorizo. Some other great things about this stew besides the yum factor, is that it not only takes no time to prepare but you also need dirty only one dish. The original recipe recommended you prepare it in a large skillet. I was more comfortable making it in a large Le Creuset Dutch Oven. By doing so, I didn’t have to worry if I had a large enough pan and was able to add a bit more broth to thin the consistency. Clean-up was a breeze. This Chorizo & White Bean Stew is an all-round winner!

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Chorizo and White Bean Stew

recipe from: Bon Appetit

yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo or Italian sausage links
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 10 cups)
  • Smoked paprika

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same pan. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprig. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-8 minutes. Add beans and broth and cook, crushing a few beans with the back of a spoon to thicken sauce, until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach by handfuls and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Slice chorizo and fold into stew; add water or chicken broth to thin, if desired. Divide stew among bowls; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika.

Enjoy!


Spicy Ham & Black Bean Soup

January 17, 2013

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I’m so excited! I was actually able to use the ham bone that was left over from our Christmas ham this past year. I always have great intentions of using the ham bone, but always seem to be busy with post-holiday stuff at the time it makes itself available to me. So, I wrap it up ever so carefully and put it in the freezer, confident I will make some sort of delicious soup or stew. Well, of course, I sort of forget it is in there until we have an extended power outage and I’m sitting on the floor performing triage on all of my rapidly melting frozen goodies. (Falls Church seems to lose power all of the time! I grew up way out in the country, on a little island and I used to think we lost power there a lot. HAH! Falls Church definitely takes the cake in that department!) At that moment, the old Christmas ham bone does not warrant a place in the Coleman cooler. So it is either flung into the trash or it is given to a very lucky fox who goes running about the neighborhood with it like he won the lottery. This year, my refrigerator outsmarted me and promptly died a couple of days past Christmas. Quite considerate when you think it could have just given up the ghost right before our big Holiday meal. So there was no freezing of the ham bone, oh no. I had to act right away! Luckily I had just received a slow cooker. I took a quick peek online and found a great recipe, which I did adapt a bit. I just popped all of the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and didn’t think about it again until it was dinner time. Well, that’s not really true. Since it was my maiden voyage with a slow cooker I was looking at it constantly, but next time I’m sure I will pay it no mind and just let it do its thing. I’m happy to report that the soup was a huge success. We’ve eaten it simply ladled into bowls as well as over rice,  though always sprinkled with gooey melted cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro with a hunk of cornbread, slathered in butter on the side. Delicious!  Nice and spicy. It will really warm you up on a damp and rainy day. I’m very pleased with it and I’m not really that much of a “bean person”. My husband LOVES beans. All of them. Even those lima beans, which he calls “butter beans”, which I call “chalk beans”. Boo! You won’t catch me making any kind of lima bean concoction any time soon. But these black beans are winners. And let me tell you, my husband is in bean heaven! Tonight, for this recipe’s next incarnation, I’m thinking I’m going to mix some rice in with it to thicken it up a bit, roll it up in some tortillas and serve them smothered with cheese, guacamole, salsa and a bit of chopped lettuce and tomatoes. (This recipe does make a whole heck of a lot of soup, so if it’s just two of you, you might need to get a bit creative with how you present it…) All in all a big win! Yay ham bone & yay slow cooker!

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Spicy Ham & Black Bean Soup

recipe adapted from: andreasrecipes.com

yield: approximately 10-12 servings (a whole mess of soup!)

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces dry black beans
  • 2 quarts water
  • bone from a large ham
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili powder
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground Chipotle pepper
  • water, enough to cover all of the ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • cheese and more cilantro to garnish

Instructions:

The night before you make the soup, pick through the beans and remove any bad beans or other debris. Put the beans into the pot and add 2 quarts water. Remove the beans that float. Soak beans overnight.

Place the ham bone in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker pot. Add the drained soaked beans, the peppers onion, tomatoes (with liquid) chili powder, garlic and spices. Add enough water to the pot to cover everything. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 6-7 hours, until the beans are tender.

About 1 hour before serving, add the salt, pepper and chopped cilantro. Stir to incorporate. Place the lid back.

Just prior to serving, remove the ham bone. If any meat is still clinging to it, remove it and add it back to the soup. Ladle it into bowls or serve over rice, garnished with cheddar cheese and additional fresh cilantro.

Enjoy!


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