The traditional Irish dishes we grew up on
Feel free to add your own recipe or correct any mistakes
Nettles (as a substitute to cabbage)
Spring is the time to use nettles as a substitute to cabbage, cook in the same way as cabbage but just a few tips.
1. Take only the top few leaves of young nettles.
2. Take more than you might think you need, the full of a 2 gallon bucket will serve about 4 people.
3. Do not take nettles from the roadside or any areas where weedkiller has been used in the past.
4. Use boiled nettles alone - mix with cabbage or kale only after they are cooked.
Nettles are full of Iron and are very healthy to eat, they do not sting your mouth when they are cooked. Nettles are possibly more healthy than forced store bought cabbage - no herbicides, insecticides or sprays on wild nettles.
This dish was not confined to famine or war time menus but was a dish served to mark the start of summer and served with pride, not poverty.
Fledgling rook (1 per person)
Potatoes (2 per person)
Carrots 1 large per person
Onions half large per person
Stock quarter pint per person
Pastry to cover
Stout quarter pint per person
Per Serving Two Rook Breast, rooks should be feathered but unable to fly, skinned and breast removed, place breasts on a hot pan and fry for two minutes each side, remove and allow to "rest" keep juice in pan.
Prepare Potatoes, Carrots ond Onion:
Dice raw potato into inch cubes, slice carrots and finely chop onions. Place half the potato and the rest of the vegatables in the juice of the rook, season with salt and pepper and gently fry for about five minutes. Add about a quarter pint of chicken stock per serving and quarter pint of stout and bring to the boil. Dice rook breast into large cubes and add to the stew, allow to simmer for half an hour. Make enough pastry to cover top and bottom of a pie dish big enough to hold the stew. Line the bottom and sides of the greased pie dish with one unbroked sheet of pastry with enough to overlap the sides, pour stew into dish and add remainder of diced potato, cover with pastry and seal the edges, pierce the lid to release steam and place the pie in a moderate oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until pastry is dark golden. Serve piping hot with brown bread and stout or milk as desired.
TRADITIONAL IRISH BACON AND CABBAGE
With Parsley Sauce
1 Traditional Slab of Bacon (1 ¼ - 2lb)
1 green cabbage (Greyhound is the best, if you can’t get it anymore, try Savoy)
8 potatoes (peeled)
Salt and pepper
Cover bacon with cold water. Bring to boil and drain. Cover with fresh cold water. Bring to boil and then simmer for 25 minutes per 1lb plus 25 minutes over. Remove outer leaves of cabbage. Cut in half, add to the saucepan and simmer for the last 20 minutes. Remove bacon to chopping board and carve into thin slices. Drain cabbage, season with salt & pepper, chop and add a knob of butter. Serve the bacon with the cabbage and boiled potatoes and parsley sauce.
PARSLEY SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
¼ cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
¼ cup cabbage stock
1¼ cups milk
½ cup finely chopped parsley
Salt & Pepper
Melt butter in saucepan and stir in flour to make roux. Cook without browning over medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes. Gradually add cabbage stock, then milk. Bring to boil and stir for a few minutes. Add parsley and season to taste with pepper. Makes about two and a half cups.
Serves 4 Foreigners or 1 to 2 hungry Irishmen!
Dublin Coddle Recipe
Not particularly popular in Westmeath, this one is for our new neighbours and friends from Dublin
From A Taste of Ireland in Food and Pictures by Theodora Fitzgibbon (Pan Books)
The classic Irish coddle recipe is basically a ham, sausage, potato, and onion stove-top casserole. It makes an easy and hearty meal.
INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 pounds pork sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces 1-1/2 pounds smoked ham, cut into 1-inch dice 2 pints of boiling water 2 large onions, peeled and thinly diced 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced 4 tablespoons chopped parsley Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
PREPARATION: Place the sausage and ham in the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, but reserve the liquid. Put the meat into a large saucepan (or an oven-proof dish) with the onions, potatoes, and parsley. Add enough of the stock to not quite cover the contents. Cover the pot and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until the liquid is reduced by half and all the ingredients are cooked but not mushy. You may need to remove the lid during the last half of the cooking process. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with the vegetables on top and fresh Irish Soda Bread and a glass of stout.
Makes 8 servings