Coddle is an Irish dish that is centuries old and originates from Dublin. It’s a slow-cooked one-pot wonder — a potato-heavy stew, made with a handful of simple ingredients that yield a comforting meal on a chilly evening.
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon (about 10 slices)
- 1 pound uncooked pork sausage links, preferably Irish (5 to 6 links)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, or 2 cups reconstituted chicken or ham bouillon paste or cubes and water (follow package directions), divided
- 3 pounds russet potatoes (5 to 6 medium)
- 4 medium yellow onions
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper or freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
- 3 bay leaves, divided
- Crusty bread, for serving (optional)
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300℉.
- Trim off and discard the rind from 1 pound thick-cut bacon. Cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Place in a 7-quart or larger Dutch oven or oven-safe heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally and making sure bacon does not brown or crisp, until the fat is slightly translucent and any watery liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot (reserve the remaining for another use). Add 1 pound uncooked pork sausage links to the pot and cook on medium heat until lightly browned on 2 sides, about 1 1/2 minutes per side (they will not be cooked through). Transfer to the plate with bacon.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the low-sodium chicken broth into the pot and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Pour the liquid into a small heatproof bowl and reserve the pot.
- Prepare the following and set aside: Peel 3 pounds russet potatoes and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices. Peel and slice 4 medium yellow onions crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds; separate with your hands into rings. Pick and finely chop the leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh parsley until you get 1/3 loosely packed cup.
- Cut the sausages crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Divide the sausages, bacon, potatoes, onions, and parsley into 3 piles for the 3 layers.
- Assemble the coddle in the Dutch oven. Evenly layer 1/3 of each ingredient in this order: Onion rings, bacon, sausage, potato slices sprinkled with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, parsley, and 1 bay leaf. Press down firmly with your hands to compact. Repeat layering the remaining ingredients two more times, reserving some parsley in a small bowl and refrigerating for garnish.
- Pour the remaining 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth and reserved deglazed liquid over the top potato layer. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and then the lid.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Check to make sure all the liquid has not entirely evaporated, there should always be at least 1-inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot. Add more water as needed. Discard the foil and cover again with lid. Return to the oven and bake for 1 hour more.
- Check that the onions are soft; if not, cover and bake for 30 minutes more. Remove from the oven. (You can even cook for up to 5 hours in total, the ingredients can withhold the longer cook time. Just make sure you check on the liquid level occasionally during the extra cook time.) Optional: Heat the broiler. Uncover and generously brush the top layer of potatoes with the reserved bacon fat. Broil until the potatoes are golden brown at the edges, around 7 minutes.
- Let the coddle rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved parsley. Spoon into bowls, including the juices from the bottom of the pot. Discard the bay leaves as you find them during serving. Serve with crusty bread to dip into the juices if desired.