Dublin lies on the east coast of Ireland, in the plain overlooked by the Wicklow Mountains, and is divided by the river Liffey. Dublin - also referred to as Baile Atha Claith or Dubh Linn in Gaelic - is the capital of the Republic of Ireland, with many interesting attractions such as museums, churches, historic buildings, parks, and ancient and historic castles situated both in the city and throughout Dublin County. As the birthplace of James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and many other renowned writers, Dublin is a place of great cultural interest. But Dublin is also a city famous for its countless pubs and bars, for example the Guinness Storehouse, the Old Jameson Distillery or Brazen Head (Dublin's oldest pub dating back to at least 1668). Founded by the Vikings in 841 aD, the city was invaded by the Anglo-Normans in 1170 who erected defensive walls around the original castle. Dublin started to expand and develop beyond the medieval walls in the 1600s, and by the XVIII century, it was already the second city of the British Empire next to London. Today Dublin is the center of government, commerce and industry. Runners visiting Dublin should not miss to visit the Castle and its crypt, the Civic Museum, the Bank of Ireland (formerly the Irish Parliament House), Dame Street, the Olympia Theatre, the City Hall, the Christ Church and the St. Patrick's cathedrals. The ancient part of the city called St. Audoen's is also definitely worth a visit.
Dublin Coddle may be defined a stew type dish containing pork usually sausages, bacon, stock or water with onions and potatoes. The history and origin of this dish is not very clear but it is believed to have originated during the first great famine in Ireland of 1765 to 1767. Due to the famine a great numbers of displaced tenant farmers migrated to Dublin from the four-corners of Ireland, building shanty-towns on the outskirts of the city or living in tenement. These migrants brought with then a tradition of keeping pigs for personal consumption next to their homes. Most families slaughtering their own pig, the better cuts were salted and pickled and were used as the main meat all year round, the blood was also used for making puddings as it is in some parts of Ireland to this day. From the poorer cuts of meat a considerable amount of fresh sausages were made, which were shared with their neighbours, who in turn when they killed their own pig did likewise, ensuring a constant supply of fresh sausages. Using the pig's manure as a fertiliser they grew the best of potatoes and onions. From these ingredients a number of dishes containing bacon and sausages were invented by the Irish of which the most famous is Dublin Coddle (Codal Duibnlinneach). For the poorest members of society who had no pigs or land of their own the cheapest pieces of bacon and sausages were used to produce this dish which was considered cheap, wholesome and nutritious. Dean Swift and Sean O'Casey in a number of their writings referred to Coddle as their favourite dish.
Ingredients for 1 runner: 1 kg bacon bits (4 cm square); 1 kg sausages (fresh 30% fat); 1 kg onions (peeled and chopped roughly); 1.2 kg of potatoes (peeled if large cut into four pieces); black pepper; a handful of chopped parsley
Place a layer of onions at the bottom of a heavy metal pot then layer all the other ingredients with the sausages on the top sprinkled pepper between each layer.
Cover with water and bring to the boil then simmer for 2 hours on a low heat or it can be placed in an oven for 3 hours at 120 degrees Celsius.
When cooked serve with wholemeal bread.
Bon appétit! Enjoy the meal!
The Dublin Coddle article was expressly written for Run The Planet by John Linnane, author of "A History of Irish Cuisine" (www.ravensgard.org/prdunham/irishfood.html) and Lecturer in Food Production at the Dublin Institute of Technology.