We had our first monthly Bunkhouse Brunch last Sunday, and it was a smashing success! We had a great turnout, were surrounded by friends and family, and everyone brought such fabulous food! We made a Strata with Asparagus, Sausage and Fontina. Among the other dishes were roasted sweet potatoes, sausage links, donut holes, coffee, an assortment fruit, Yoghurt Coffee Cake (with roasted almonds instead of walnuts!), and fresh squeezed orange & grapefruit juice, and a new taste sensation, Espressicles. Quite a spread!
Since the brunch is a monthly event, we are already thinking about the next one...
Various things pushed the brunch a bit further into the month of March, but what a lucky thing that turned out to be. With the March Bunkhouse Brunch scheduled for March 15, we are running with an Irish theme in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
In preparation, and honestly just because they sound delicious, we are trying out several new recipes. My ancestry is almost completely Irish, but sadly the only Irish dish that comes to my mind is Boiled Dinner. I'm not a big fan, but I feel like I ought to give it another try at some point. Just not right now. First, I ran across this recipe for "Dublin Coddle."
The recipe sounds fabulous: bacon, sausage, potatoes, onions and carrots slow-cooked in beer or broth. I found it in The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World, and I can't say if I've ever tried a recipe out of the book before. Looking through it the other day, I know I will be trying several more out of this fantastic little book. Lucky you!
This stew is savory, hearty and delicious, and H-Bomb says "Super yummy!"
Serves 6 Dublin Coddle is true Irish comfort food: no fancy sauces, and none of the spices found in hotter regions. Yet every Dublin pub and every Dublin mum has a version of it. It sounds simple--just bacon, sausage, potatoes, onions, carrots and water or hard cider--but the flavors meld together into a delicious stew. Note: This dish is an exception to the better-the-day-after rule. I like it hot out of the pot.
4 slices lean bacon (I used 6 slices)
1 1/2 pounds pork sausages (6-8 sausages) ~I used about 10 I think
2 yellow onions, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup water, hard cider, chicken stock or beer (I used a dark Oatmeal Stout beer)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Heat a large saute' pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry for 7 minutes, or until crisp. (If there is one thing I can do with bacon, it is fry until crisp!) Using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Add the sausages to the pan and cook, turning frequently, for 10 minutes, or until browned. Using tongs, transfer to a plate. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
Add the onions to the pan and saute', stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Spread half of the onions in a layer in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place half of the potatoes in a layer on top of the onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the strips of bacon over the potatoes. Lay the sausages over the bacon. Spread the carrots over the sausages and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the remaining onions over the carrots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add the water. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, until the vegetables are very tender.
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
To Drink: Harp Lager or Newcastle Brown Ale. (we'll be drinking Oatmeal Stout)