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So from Italy we head nearer to home and to The Republic of Ireland – Dublin to be precise is where Rory’s finger landed… Ian and I have been to Dublin and its a fantastic place and we enjoyed some fab food.

Situated in The North Atlantic, off the coast of the UK. Ireland is the second largest island of the British Isles, third largest in Europe and twentieth largest on Earth… Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – which as we know is part of the United Kingdom. The population of Ireland is approximately 4.8 million, with I believe the greater living in The Republic of Ireland.

Ireland encompasses low lying mountains enclosing a central plain which has several rivers, which go from the top to the bottom of Ireland. It Island has verdant flora which has come about because of its mild but variable climate, but with no extremes in temperature. Until the middle ages, the island was covered with thick woodlands and there are around 26 existing mammal species indigenous to Ireland.

Humans arrived around 8000 BCE and Gaelic Ireland had appeared by the 1st century and stayed until the 17th. Christianity emerged from about the 5th century and following the Norman invasion in the 12th century England demanded independence. Though England did not rule over the whole of the island until the 16th, early 17th century until the Tudors claimed victory which then lead to the settlement of Ireland with colonisers from Britain. In 1801 Ireland became part of the UK. A war of independence in the early 20th century and then a partition of the island which created the Irish free State which lead to much political unrest until the 1990’s.

Cuisine of Ireland has grown from centuries of political and social change. Food/recipes are taken from the animals farmed and crops that are grown. During the second half of the 16th century the introduction of the potato very much influenced Irish cuisine and is very much often connected with Ireland. Irish stew,cabbage, bacon colcannon, boxty and coddle are well known Irish dishes. Having googled food from Dublin we are happy that one of the foods listed was very traditional and we decided to take one of these traditional meals for our dinner and have prepared and cooked –

A traditional Irish warming hunger buster – Dublin Coddle

Dublin Coddle, is a lovely, warming meal of potatoes and sausages and bacon which actually date back to the 1700s. Its traditionally thought of as a city dish eaten during the winter. Its popularity has been credited to the fact that –

an Irish wife could go to bed and leave it simmering on the stove for hours, so that it might be ready for when her husband arrived home from the pub

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A very simple recipe to put together and inexpensive too. The recipe asks for the sausages(Irish sausages used) and bacon to be grilled until coloured, but alas we do not have a grill at the mo so I lightly turned the sausages in the pan I was to use for the “Coddle” and fried the bacon in a non stick pan disregarding the liquid created.

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DSCF2050Once the bacon and sausages are golden, the dish is layered up adding parsley and salt and pepper to every layer,and the stock added over the dish and put in the oven to cook for around 3 hours…

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The recipe suggest adding Guiness towards the end, which we added and gave us extra gravy/juice…

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In addition I left the lid off the pan to brown off the potatoes  – the recipe doesn’t ask for this but my own personal preference.                  DSCF2063 DSCF2065 DSCF2066

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The dish was ready to serve and suggested to be served with soda bread – which I love – so we did,  and a pint of Guiness, which we didn’t… 🙂 Red wine went down very well…

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Family Verdict: Tasty dinner, but less salt needed, not sure the salt and pepper is needed every layer…Sausages and bacon very cooked and melted in the mouth.Easy to prepare and cook and would make a good midweek meal.

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