Irish Coddle

So if this blog just disappears after this week, you’ll know why — I’ve died of a heart attack.  Seriously.  There was so much cholesterol and grease in the Irish Coddle, I was popping Tums and Zantac all evening in fear of being up all night with heartburn.

But I’ve got to say that the Coddle was delicious — rich, complex, salty-sweet, and meaty. My whole family loved it — even me when I could take my mind off the FAT –and it made two meals for the four of us.  I would suggest, however, that if you make it, do it the day before you intend to eat it so that you can skim off that lovely little layer of congealed gooey grease that will form at the top of the container after you refrigerate it.

Making this dish after so many years of avoiding fatty meat products, took me back to my early years of cooking as a newly wed.  I had a little tin can on the stove top, just like my mother did, where I poured the bacon grease every time I cooked bacon, and then used that grease to cook everything in.  This is a southern tradition — everything, including vegetables, cooked in pork fat.    I imagine all those calories  came in handy in some piney woods log cabin in the hills of Tennessee where every scrap of the family pig had to be used to keep the family alive, but it seems so foreign to this upper-middle class California cook.  My great grandmother, the Alabama farmwife, wouldn’t even recognize me as a descendent, I’ll bet, but she would love this coddle.

Irish Coddle

  • 1 lb. pork bacon
  • 2 lbs. pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
  • 2 large onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large potatoes, thickly sliced (1/2 inch)
  • 3 carrots, thickly sliced (1/2) inch
  • 1 large bunch of fresh herbs ( I used sprigs of oregano, thyme, savory, and rosemary.)
  • Hard cider or apple cider
  • fresh parsely chopped for garnish

Lightly fry the bacon until crisp and place in a large cooking pot.  Brown the sausages in the bacon grease, drain back into frying pan and add sausage to pot on top of the bacon.  Lightly cook the onions and garlic in the bacon grease then add to the pot, layering the potato and carrot slices.  Bury the tied bunch of hers in the middle of the mixture.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Cover entire thing with cider and cook for 1 1/2 hours over moderate heat, not letting it boil.  Serve garnished with sprinkles of parseley.

This recipe is from the website:




About tamisrenteria

Tamis Renteria, author and anthropologist, writes novels and short stories about people struggling with different religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions. She lives with her husband and youngest son in Tucson, Arizona where she types on a Mac, cooks ethnic food, and gardens among the sahuaros.
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