(Image from Chef Mom, who has a crockpot version of this recipe on her site.)
I like corned beef and cabbage as much as the next guy on St. Patrick’s Day, but I don’t enjoy the $2.79/lbs. price tag. Originally, corned beef was a way of making a cheap, unpalatable cuts of beef taste good by pickling it. So I balk at paying $14 for 5 lbs. of corned beef when I know that it was originally poor-people food. I can get some nice steaks for that price.
So I will not be making corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, I’m going with an alternative Irish dish: Dublin Coddle.
Dublin Coddle is a stew made out of sausage, bacon, potatoes, and, of course, beer. You layer the ingredients in a pot, simmer it for a few hours, and end up with a stew that is just as hearty as corned beef and cabbage, and more authentically Irish since it is actually from Ireland (corned beef is American). Dublin Coddle is a delicious comfort food, easy to make, and goes great with beer. I am making it on the stove top, but you can also make it ahead in a crockpot. Here’s my recipe:
(Serves 4 people)
1 lbs. sausage, in casing.
8 slices of bacon
8-10 baby carrots (the equivalent of two regular carrots)
1 c chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/4 c fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 12 oz bottle of beer (I use a heavier beer like Guinness or my husband’s homemade Scottish ale. Some people use apple cider.)
Cut the bacon into pieces and lightly fry in a pan. Add the bacon to a soup pot.
Cut the sausage into bite-sized chunks. Some recipes leave the sausages whole, but I find that cumbersome. Fry the sausage in the pan. Add them to the soup pot.
Peel and chop the onions. Sweat them in the same frying pan, then pour the onions into the pot.
Peel the potatoes and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Chop up the carrots. Put in the saucepan.
Pour stock and beer over the other ingredients.
Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for 1-1.5 hours. Taste and add salt and pepper if you need it.
Transfer into bowls and garnish with parsley on top. Enjoy, preferably with a beer.
Cost of Dish: Sausage: $4 (cheaper if you make your own); Beer: $1; Bacon: $1; Potatoes: $.35; Carrots: $.10; Onions: $.10; Parsley: free from the garden; Stock: free; salt and pepper: free.
Total Cost: $6.55 or $1.64 per person.
Total Savings Compared To Corned Beef: $7.45.