Chef Dez: Celebrate St. Patricks Day with traditional Irish fare

Try a little Dublin Coddle or Colcannon if you want to get traditional

  • Mar. 15, 2020 5:00 a.m.

There are a number of novelty consumables that consistently reappear in the marketplace during the days leading up to March 17.

These will most undoubtedly include items such as green tinted beverages like beer and milkshakes for example. Although this may be an amusing way to recognize St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, a culinary adventure of Irish cuisine would be more nostalgic, in my opinion.

There are a number of traditional Irish dishes that one can prepare to make the dinner table a celebratory venue in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day. Potatoes continue to be a staple in Irish cuisine but there are many dishes, with or without potatoes, which capture the essence of their time-honored meals.

Dublin Coddle is a recipe that first comes to mind when thinking about Irish food. It is a dish that consists of pan-frying sausages, bacon, onions, & garlic before placing them on potatoes slices in a casserole dish and baking together with some broth and seasonings. The seasonings can be as simple as using some dried sage with salt and pepper.

Colcannon

is a very traditional vegetarian dish consisting of a mashed combination of potatoes with cabbage. The potatoes are cooked and mashed while the cabbage is pan-fried with butter and onions before being combined with the mashed potatoes with some milk or cream and seasoned to taste.

Soda Bread is a common accompaniment to many meals. It is a simple quick bread that rises with the chemical combination reaction of buttermilk with baking soda. There are many varieties of this recipe and my favorite includes the addition of wheat germ. The classic shape of this bread is round with the surface scored with a knife four times in star shaped pattern.

Lamb and Beef Stews are also very popular as one-dish meals in Ireland. Many also can include the addition of Guinness beer – a delicious black stout from Dublin.

A classic sweet with a cup of tea would be Irish Tea Brack. It is similar to a fruit cake but made without butter or margarine, and has no candied fruit. Raisins and lemon rind usually grace this heavy cake along with Irish whiskey, and warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

This is just a small sample of traditional Irish fare. The Internet and the local library will prove to be valuable resources to elaborate on these ideas and make this St. Patircks Day a mealtime celebration. Also, most of these recipes are included in my ‘best of’ cookbook: The Best In Your Kitchen, available online at chefdez.com or Amazon.

Dear Chef Dez:

A Scottish friend of mine, use to talk about a dish called “Rumbledethumps”. Do you know what this is? How do you make it?

Rebecca L.

Burnaby, BC

Dear Rebecca:

Through some investigation, I have determined that “Rumbledethumps” is a Scottish dish that is almost identical to the Irish dish “Colcannon”. It is a mixture of pan-fried cabbage with white onion stirred into mashed potatoes. The difference is that Rumbledethumps is baked with the inclusion of grated cheddar cheese mixed in and melted on top of the dish.

Chef Dez is a BC-based food columnist and culinary instructor. Visit him at www.chefdez.com.

Just Posted

Cowichan Mountie cleared of wrongdoing after woman’s arm broken during arrest

Police were called around 10 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2019 to remove a “severely intoxicated” woman

Duncan using empty streetscape to move forward with public works downtown

Some projects scheduled for later in the year accelerated due to COVID-19 quiet

Investigators seek witnesses in Langford shooting death of Angela Dalman

Police seek out dash cam footage, home security videos and neighbourhood witnesses

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

‘Langford Cares’ campaign to cover hotel expenses for frontline health care workers

Initiative gives back to health care staff living on the West Shore

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Canoe found in men’s public bathroom in Cadboro-Gyro Park

‘Please do not park your canoe in our bathrooms,’ say Saanich parks staff

Judge rejects pandemic as reason to grant bail to immunocompromised prisoner

Esquimalt man told there are more health risks for addicts on the street than there are in jail

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

VicPD asks for help finding owner of recovered camera

Camera contained images of a family celebrating a wedding

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Island recreation sites with camping facilities closed until June

Trail sites still open, provided safety can be ensured

Most Read