When this one was pulled out of the Decision Bowl, three cheers rang out…okay, not really, but it was a positive reaction. Why? Because we all knew I’d been looking for an excuse to have a go at making Baileys ice cream. I’d also been looking for a reason to make stout bread and I’d also been looking for a reason to make Dublin Coddle and I rarely need a reason to drink Guinness.
First up was the Stout Bread. This was such a doddle to make. Being a soda bread – as in a bread made with baking or bicarb soda rather than yeast – there’s no kneading and no proving time. The most labour intensive part of the process is measuring the ingredients and bringing them quickly together – much like you would a scone – and then let the oven and the soda (or in this case the soda and the buttermilk) do the heavy lifting.
As an aside, did you know that the modern form of baking powder was invented in 1843 by a Birmingham chemist, Alfred Bird, because his wife was allergic to yeast? She was also allergic to eggs so he later invented custard powder. That man was a keeper.
Anyways, back to the bread – which came out of the oven risen and smelling amazing.
We had that with Sarah’s Favourite Dip In The Whole World – that’s what she calls it, so the capitals are hers – a smoked salmon pate.
There’s a lady selling salmon at the farmer’s markets and her offcuts of smoked salmon are perfect for this – you need 200g. This is then mixed with 100g cream cheese and 100g creme fraiche, the zest of a lemon, the juice of half a lemon (or more to taste) and a tablespoon of horseradish cream for kick.
Main course was Dublin Coddle. Dublin Coddle is essentially a leftovers all together in a pot sort of dish. I remember trying it for the first time in a pub in Cheltenham in the UK way back on our first trip there. When we came home I attempted to recreate it for Sunday suppers – although this was the mid 90’s and the internet wasn’t really a thing.
Fast forward twenty-five years and I’m making it again. My pic isn’t great – this isn’t Instagram worthy food and Grant gets cranky if I make any attempt to style it when I should be dishing up – but it was yum.
Finally, there was Baileys ice cream. This was silky smooth and amazingly easy. The problem with putting alcohol into ice cream is that the alcohol doesn’t freeze so you can, if you’re not careful, end up with a sloppy ice cream that melts really quickly. I ended up making my usual recipe for vanilla ice cream (5 egg yolks, 500ml cream, 120g sugar… you can find it here) and substituted half a cup of Baileys (125ml) for half a cup of cream.
It worked really well. I didn’t take a pic, but it definitely wasn’t as chocolatey brown as in the pic at the top of the post – which isn’t my pic. I drizzled over some quick chocolate sauce (same quantities cream and dark chocolate) but it really didn’t need it.
(serves 4…depending on how greedy you’re feeling…)
What you need
- 25g butter
- 1kg peeled potatoes cut into 5cm chunks
- 500g good pork sausages
- 250g thick-cut bacon cut into 1cm lardons
- 2 brown onions sliced into half-moons
- 500ml chicken stock
- about 10 sprigs of thyme
- a small bunch of parsley, chopped
What you do with it
- Heat your oven to 180C
- If you have one of those casseroles that go from stove to oven you can do all of this in one pot – I don’t, so in a frying pan, add the butter and cook the bacon in it until lightly crisp, remove it and add the sausages, cooking until brown, but not cooked all the way through. Remove them and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- On the bottom of an oven-proof casserole lay the onions across the bottom of the dish, follow this with alternate layers of bacon, sausage and potato. Toss in the thyme and most of the parsley (holding some parsley back for garnish), pour over the chicken stock, put the lid on, and pop it into the oven for 90 minutes – 2 hours. The bacon is salty, so don’t season at this stage.
- Allow the coddle to cool out of the oven for 20 minutes or so before ladling into bowls.
- Note: If you want you can make this more of a substantial meal by adding barley, cabbage or carrots.