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Video: Celebrate St. Patty’s day with an Irish soup

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    >>> we're back with what's cooking on st. patrick's day. and this weekend, everybody is irish, so we're making traditional irish comfort food .

    >> apparently this dish needs a little coddling. chef rachel allen has a brand-new cookbook. rachel's new irish cookbook.

    >> aren't you like -- you're beautiful. like an irish spring commercial.

    >> we're going to make some coddle. dublin coddle. which is like a big cuddle in a bowl. but it comes from a term to simmer slowly. it's one of those economical dishes, that's always made on a thursday before the no meat day on friday. to use up all the bacon and bacon we've got, ham as you call it and potatoes. really simple. you have to have potatoes.

    >> so basically the first thing you do, i've got finely chopped onion. and throw those in. and i've got some breakfast sausages chopped up. like this. and then peeled, chopped potatoes. i'm using your russets, actually they are work quite well.

    >> and some stock.

    >> or you could use your ham cooking water.

    >> if you cook your ham. all do you is put this on. allow it to simmer for about ten, 12 minutes, until you come to this.

    >> a little boil.

    >> a little boil and you can see here, that the potatoes are just soft, i think. and then i'm going to add in ham and i love it when it kind of shreds, this cooked ham. this is traditional irish food, really simple as you can see. hearty, nutritious. you know, if you're feeling poorly, if you're feeling cold, this is the thing. this is the thing to eat, comfort food and some chopped parsley.

    >> there we go.

    >> and a little salt.

    >> i'm going to give it a little taste. because the ham and the sausages.

    >> we might not need any salt.

    >> this is, this is great as it is.

    >> actually i'll put a bit of salt in at the beginning, but --

    >> oh!

    >> and then, you just -- that is about as easy as it gets.

    >> hey, hey. you know, something, it's quite, this kind of food is quite cool again in northern ireland . but it's traditional and lovely.

    >> what about the dessert you have on the table?

    >> porter, porter being stout, it's got stout in it. and actually sometimes people even used to pour some begin he is into the coddle. but i don't like that.

    >> don't guesseinness your coddle.

    >> it looks delicious.

    >> and you two kind of like having a little --

    >> we like having a little bit earlier in the morning.

    >> while you're making us your drink, we're going to go over a little okay or not okay. so this -- we rant out of time. is it okay or not okay to kiss your tv guests on the lips?

    >> here's what we had to say about that.

    >> absolutely. i still haven't gotten over my kiss from tom sellick in 2,000.

    >> yes, it's okay, but only if it's george clooney .

    >> or tom sellick.

    >> oh yes.

    >> thank you so much for

TODAY recipes
updated 3/13/2013 6:12:20 PM ET 2013-03-13T22:12:20

Recipe: Dublin coddle

  • 12 ounces potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (more or less)
  • 1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
  • 8 ounces breakfast sausages, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups leftover bacon cooking liquid, chicken stock, or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 ounces leftover boiled or fried bacon, torn or cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks (more or less)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Put the potato, onion and sausages in a large saucepan and add the bacon cooking water. Add a little salt and pepper (but not too much if you're using bacon cooking water). Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Add the cooked bacon and cook for another few minutes. Stir in the parsley, season to taste, and serve immediately.


If you don't have leftover boiled bacon, you can make this dish using fried slices (rashers) or cubes (lardoons) of bacon and chicken stock or, even, water.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 serving

Recipe: Porter cake

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (mixed spice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 pound golden raisins (sultanas) or raisins or a mixture of both
  • 3 ounces chopped candied peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle porter or stout

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the sides and bottom of an 8-inch high-sided round cake pan (the sides should be about 2 ¾ inches high) with waxed (greaseproof) paper.

Sift the flour, nutmeg, spice, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir in the brown sugar, raisins and candied peel.

Whisk the eggs in another bowl and add the porter. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 2 hours. If the cake starts to brown too quickly on top, cover it with aluminum foil or waxed (greaseproof) paper after about 1 hour. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to sit in the pan for about 20 minutes before turning it out and cooling it on a wire rack.


Make the cake a few days in advance of the celebratory event (it's perfect for St Patrick's Day) if you like, and it will improve even more!

Serving Size

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Recipe: Irish coffee

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Hot coffee
  • Softly whipped cream

Pour the whiskey into a cup and stir in the brown sugar. Top up with coffee, leaving a space of ½ inch from the rim of the cup to the top of the coffee, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Dip a spoon into hot or boiling water, then use that spoon to add the cream to the coffee — it will slide gently off the spoon.

Serving Size

Makes 1 serving

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