We decided that in addition to making Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage for our St. Patrick's Day-ish Bunkhouse Brunch (tomorrow, as close as we can possibly get to March 17th on a weekend this year), and Jeanie's Horseradish Sauce to accompany the Corned Beef, we would try something new.
The choice was between Oatmeal Soup (savory, with onions and steel-cut oats) and Irish Cheese Pudding (also savory, with cheese and bread and dark beer). Guess which one we chose? We will still make the Oatmeal Soup at some point, but for now, it's Irish Cheese Pudding. It sounded a bit more dense than the soup (we don't have 18 bowls for our guests) and it only takes 3 hours in the slow cooker. I can do that.
Today, I cut up the bread and grated the cheddar. I doubled the recipe, and ended up using both an 8-ounce and a 16-ounce loaf of sourdough. Tomorrow morning, I will mix it all up in the slow cooker and it will be ready just in time for brunch.
The recipe is another from The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World, which so far has been a winner. We honestly haven't tried many recipes (yet!) but the Dublin Coddle was delicious too. There are other areas of the world represented in the cookbook, including Mexico, France, Italy, India, Greece and the U.S., and we're anxious to try those recipes as well! We're hopeful for this Pudding, and indeed will be debuting it for all of our guests tomorrow.
I will report back, with pictures too!
Irish Cheese Pudding
Serves 4 to 6
6 to 7 cups 1-inch cubes sourdough bread, with crust
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 cups dark beer or chicken stock, or equal amounts of the two
1 cup half-and-half
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon hot sweet mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Place the bread and 2 1/2 cups of the cheese in the slow cooker and toss well.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, beer, half-and-half, cayenne and mustard and whisk until frothy.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread, pressing down with the back of a spoon so that the bread absorbs some of the liquid. Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours, until the pudding is set. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top 20 minutes before the end of cooking, leaving the lid slightly ajar so the top browns.
Spoon the pudding into bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of parsley. Serve immediately.