March 24, 2014

Irish Guinness Stew and Irish Soda Bread


True to the very cold and snowy winter we have been having this year, it snowed on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, which is only a few days before the official start of spring. That storm brought eight inches of snow, on top of the snow we already had. It was an excellent day for Irish comfort food to celebrate my part-Irish heritage!  

Irish Guinness Stew (Irish Coddle)

Irish Coddle (sometimes called Dublin Coddle) is traditional Irish comfort food. The name “coddle” derives from the slow simmering or “coddling” of the stew. This is a stove-top recipe using a Dutch oven. (For a vegetarian alternative, just leave out the meat, still tasty.)




Ingredients:

  • I lb. of sausage (Irish bangers* are traditional and what I used, but any sausage will do, just don't use small links) 
  • 4 to 6 slices of thick, dry rubbed bacon, fat trimmed 
  • 1 bottle Guinness dark stout 
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 large carrots, cut into large rounds 
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into large chucks (I used Yukon Gold potatoes for the lower starch content) Note: No need to peel onions, especially if using Yukon Gold, unless peeling is preferred
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut into large chucks
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • Handful of fresh parsley, minced (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 4 cups low fat chicken broth

    *Irish bangers are a particular type of pork sausage. (In Ireland and England, sausages are called bangers.) To make my recipe authentic, I wanted to use Irish bangers and found them at my local Whole Foods Market (they make their own organic sausages). If there’s no Whole Foods Market nearby, a butcher shop might have them. If not, any sausage would do (just don’t use small links). Per an excellent question from my friend, Mimi, I called Whole Foods and asked about the seasonings for Irish bangers: Sea salt, black, red and white pepper, coriander, ginger, mace, nutmeg, parsley, canola oil, bread crumbs and wheat flour.





Directions:

  1. Sauté  bacon in large skillet over high heat for a few minutes to brown and lightly crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the sausages. Cut bacon and sausages into large, bite-size pieces.
  2. Sauté  onions and garlic in skillet over medium heat until just softened and lightly browned.
  3. Place the cut-up bacon and sausages at the bottom of a large Dutch oven or stew pot. Add the sautéd onions and garlic. Add the cut-up potatoes and carrots.
  4. Stir in the broth and Guinness stout.
  5. Toss in parsley, bay leaves and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste (note: I find that if the bacon is salty, no added salt is needed).
  6. Cover and simmer for one hour or until all ingredients are blended together and thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve the stew with traditional Irish Soda Bread (see recipe below), or any hearty bread.





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Irish Soda Bread




My first time making Irish Soda Bread and I was pleased with the way it came out. It’s really easy to make, no yeast. Besides serving it with the stew for dinner, I find it’s also great with jam and coffee or tea in the morning.  

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour but you can use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with melted butter or margarine (or use a cooking spray).
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. Slowly stir in the buttermilk, mixing until the dough is firm enough to be gathered into a ball. If dough crumbles, add up to ½ cup more of the buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time, until dough holds together. 
  4. Place dough on a lightly-floured board and shape into a somewhat flattened round loaf. (Don’t overprocess, just shape, a light touch works best.)
  5. Transfer loaf to the baking sheet. Using a small, sharp knife, make a deep X in the top of the dough (about ½ inch deep).
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until top of loaf is a golden brown. 
You’ll have a loaf that is crusty on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. A dense, rustic bread, perfect as a companion to the Irish stew.

Enjoy!


Spring is officially here and we’ve had a few nice days recently with mild temperatures. However, there are weather reports of yet another snowstorm due this week. Hopefully, just a minor storm that won't leave much snow. Winter just refuses to exit quietly this year. Looks like time to make another batch of Irish Stew! 

©2014 JerseyLil’s2Cents all text and photos

39 comments:

  1. Yummmmy!!!! That sounds and looks delicious.

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    1. This dish is great comfort food ... perfect for a day like today and I'm sure it tastes delicious. Thanks for the recipes for the Irish Guinness Stew and the Irish Soda Bread. I definitely have to try it out.

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    2. Thanks Jaime! Yes, this really is great comfort food, a hearty stew and bread. Hope you do try the recipes :).

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  2. Now that's what I call a hearty Irish stew for those cold nights at home. I feel like a bowl right now as I'm all snuggled up in my duvet JerseyLil. And you can always exercise it off during the spring/summer months :)
    Hope the winter snap passes by soon though.

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    1. RPD, thanks! Yes, we can eat this hearty stew now and work it off in the spring/summer months! :) Well, today it snowed again, but hopefully the last gasp of winter and spring will be right behind it. Hope you try a bowl!

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  3. STUNNING! The pictures make me hungry! All I can say is your husband is sooooooooo lucky! :-)

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    1. forgot to mention, the plate you put stew in is so beautiful! the pattern fit the food perfectly!

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    2. Yun, thank you, and I’m very pleased that my pictures made you hungry. This is a tasty stew and if you make a batch, you can freeze it to have the rest later. Thanks about the plate too. It’s from a set I bought many years ago, just Faberware, and I bought it because I was drawn to the pattern, called Sunflower Sensation. I must have been thinking of Van Gogh when I bought it! :)

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  4. Looks fabulous, Madilyn! A perfect winter dish. There's something about a stew that seems so hearty and healthy.

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    1. Thanks Marty! Yes, stews are really great and a perfect winter dish. I just might make another batch, since it’s snowing today again in my area. The never-ending winter! Spring will be here soon though! :)

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  5. Madilyn, we are a vegetarian family but thankfully, you have indicated a way out of meat. It's going to get hot and humid around here but that shouldn't stop me from asking my wife to have a look at the delicious recipes. Those are perfectly framed images and suddenly I feel so hungry!

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    1. Thanks Umashankar! I was a vegetarian for three years in my younger days, but my husband is a big meat eater, so I gradually went back to eating meat. I don’t actually eat a lot of meat myself, I prefer fish. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s just as tasty sans the meat. Hope you get to try it. :) Thank you about the photos too!

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  6. Oh wow JLil!!! First of all, as always, your photos are spectacular. This meal looks so delicious I want to reach through the computer and eat some! I wrote down your soda bread recipe and we'll be making it this weekend with beef stew. I'm curious about the sausage. What are Irish bangers? Are they seasoned differently than every day sausage?? I've never heard of them. Great post as always. Thanks for sharing JLil. :)

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    1. Thanks Mimi!! Irish bangers are a particular type of pork sausage. In Ireland and England, sausages are called bangers. My dad, being part-Irish from Rhode Island, used to make Irish bangers with eggs. To make my recipe authentic, I wanted to use Irish bangers and found them at my local Whole Foods Market (they make their own organic sausages). Don’t know if there’s a Whole Foods near you, but a butcher shop might have it. If not, any pork sausage would do (just don’t use small links).

      I called my Whole Foods Market and asked about the seasonings for Irish bangers: Sea salt, black, red and white pepper, coriander, ginger, mace, nutmeg, parsley, canola oil, bread crumbs and wheat flour. Good question, Mimi, and I’m going to add some info to the recipe about Irish bangers because I bet many people (esp. those of us here in the US) won’t know what they are. So glad you’re trying the stew and soda bread recipe!! :)

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  7. Your food looks delicious, Jersey.
    I don't use bacon and sausages but I can try the rest!
    Enjoy the snow now... winter is still here.

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    1. Thanks Julia! Yes, the recipe is just as tasty without the meat; it’s a nice, hearty stew. Snowed in my area yesterday and we got almost 4 more inches of snow. According to the calendar, it’s spring, but apparently someone forgot to tell winter it’s time to leave LOL! :)

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  8. Wow. Looks amazing. I would love to share this on my facebook page. Love your photos.

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    1. Thanks Coffee Lady! You may share this on your Facebook page, just please link it back to me. Glad you loved the photos too. :)

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  9. Will definitely give your recipes a try, especially now that my son, Nick, is eating meat again. We have a wonderful little neighborhood butcher shop/charcuterie that sells housemade Irish bangers. Will have to stop in so I can make this recipe. I love stews with Guinness in them; I even put it in my chili! That soda bread looks SO good! Perfect for dunking into rich stew, after being liberally buttered, of course!

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    1. Thanks Kris! So glad you’ll be making the stew and the soda bread. Enjoy! Excellent that your local butcher shop makes homemade Irish bangers. I like Guinness in stews too, but I’ve never tried it in chili, sounds great. The Irish soda bread might be my favorite part, I love breads! Yes, butter liberally, Julia Child would love that! :)

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    2. I made both recipes tonight, and it was so good! My soda bread ended up being undercooked a little, probably because I keep my flour in the freezer and didn't let it come to room temp before baking. So, I just scooped out the smidge of undercooked middle and away we munched. Really great simple recipe!

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    3. I'm so glad you made the stew and soda bread recipes, Kris! Yes, the soda bread is really simple to make (the flour probably should be at room temperature). I saw the photo you posted on Facebook, looks fantastic, and thanks for linking it back to my blog, too! :)

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  10. Hi Madilyn,

    Yes, that is a beautiful set of photos,which I could eat (but unfortunately I can't)! Only one thing better than Guinness and Beef pie or bangers and mash.... and that's a couple of Guinness! On my Tuesday poker night, I always have a couple and a small cigar at the break. Even if I don't win, it's still a great night. Thanks again for such a beautiful post. PS. Get a Guinness Iness.

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    1. Hi Neil and thank you! Perhaps I should have posted a glass of Guinness to have with the bowl of stew as well as cooking in the stew. :) Sounds like you have a great time at your Tuesday poker nights!

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  11. Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Jerry!

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  12. Love your inspiring blog :) Invite you to leave comment on http://agro-turisme-fishpond.blogspot.com/2014/04/simple-tutorial-to-3d-drawing-of-fruit.html .Really appreciate your comment.

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and I will check out your blog too! :)

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  13. Wow JerseyLil, I'd forgotten about your recipe posts. My memory isn't too good, but it seems like a long time since I've seen one. I remember your dishes tho. lol

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    1. Donna, it has been a while since I posted a recipe, so your memory is good! Nice that you remembered my dishes too! :)

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  14. Jersey, tahnk you for the wonderful comment you left on my blog.
    I replied to it and I agree with you on everything.
    Here's a link I want to share with you:
    http://juliahoneswritinglife.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-different-kind-of-magazine.html

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    1. Julia, thank you! I saw your reply and really appreciate that you agree with everything I wrote on your excellent post. :) And thanks for sharing the link; I will be over there later to read it.

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  15. This looks delicious, and it has bacon in it so I KNOW it's gonna be good! My hubs will go nuts over this recipe!

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    1. Thanks Marcia! Although I don’t eat bacon very often these days, I confess I Love it and it goes perfectly in this stew. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

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  16. Fantastic JL. Comfort food indeed.
    I do love the look of that bread too. Just can't get good bread here.
    Cheers, ic

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    1. Thank you, Ian! I'll have to send you a loaf for your travels. :) Cheers to you, too!

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