A County Wicklow version of the classic Dublin Coddle, a dish designed to use up leftovers before Friday, when eating meat was forbidden in Catholic households. The original is made with breakfast sausages, bacon and sometimes kidneys.

This is a very simple, affordable (under €5 for 2 people), quick to make one-pot-wonder which is heavy on veg and low on meat. The recipe for two people but can easily be scaled for more diners. Venison is a lean meat with a bold, gamey flavour. It makes a great alternative to beef or lamb.

Anyone who has been to the Wicklow Mountains National Park will be familiar with the sight of deer that have made the Garden County their home. These are typically a hybrid of native Red Deer and Japanese Sika Deer, an introduced breed. With no predictors, these animals have become so abundant that they are now deemed a pest and, sadly, a cull is currently underway. So, in the name of sustainability, now is a good time to consume more venison!

Co. Wicklow is also home to one of the country’s best butchers – The Craft Butcher in the village of Rathdrum – who specialises in producing an extensive range of homemade sausages.

Wild garlic is a common sight (and smell) in wet and wooded parts of Wicklow between February and April. It has a strong garlic/ chive taste that may not be to everyone’s taste, but has untold health benefits and gives this dish an added kick. It loses its flavour quickly through cooking, however, so fresh is best!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 Large Venison Sausages

2 Bacon Rashers (Non-streaky, non-smoked)

1 Large Carrot – roughly diced

1/2 A large Onion – roughly diced

1 Small Spring of Rosemary

Tablespoon of Sunflower oil

2 Medium Rooster Potatoes – roughly diced

1-litre of Stock (Preferably homemade Chicken stock, but beef or veg stock is good too)

Tablespoon of Chopped Parsley

Black Pepper

Wild garlic (Optional)

If you have all of your meat and veg chopped in advance this recipe is not only a coddle but a doddle! [Sorry].

Method

  1. Sweat Sausage, Bacon, Carrots, Onions and Rosemary in a pot or a large saucepan for 10 mins or until the bacon is cooked.
  2. Add the potatoes, stock and parsley. Bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat and leave to simmer for one hour or until the carrots are soft and the potatoes turned to mush
  3. Season with plenty of freshly ground black or white pepper but not salt as the bacon and sausage will be salty enough.
  4. Top with some chopped wild garlic (optional). Serve with some buttered soda bread and a glass of full-fat milk.

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