We don’t always eat turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas — sometimes we roast duck or have a crown roast of pork — but we always have my mother’s Irish sausage stuffing. Like most family recipes, my mother does not have a written recipe for this stuffing and has made it so often that she intuitively knows how much of each ingredient to include. This is my attempt to capture it in writing. You can vary the recipe to your own taste by perhaps adding some diced apple or using a different type of bread. My mother often uses boxed croutons and the stuffing tastes just as good.
Irish style sausages are available in ethnic stores butchers or can be ordered online at:foodireland.com, shop.spencerfoods.com or winstonsmarket.net.age.
- 1 loaf white country loaf cut into cubes to make 6 cups of croutons
- 2 tbsps. butter
- 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lb. Irish sausages
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- To make croutons: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Slice bread, trim crusts, cut into ½ inch cubes. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet, toast in preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat butter over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add onions, garlic and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Using a kitchen shears, cut the casing on the sausages to remove the meat. Add sausage meat to the skillet, breaking it up with a wooden spoon to mix with the onions and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until sausages are no longer pink. Add the sage and thyme.
- Transfer the sausage, onion and celery mixture to a large bowl. Add 6 cups of the croutons. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth.
- Butter a shallow baking dish and spread the stuffing in it. If cooking the stuffing with a roast, add some of the juices from the roasted meat to the stuffing to give it added flavor. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F. or until the stuffing is heated through and the top is browned and crisp.
- I just signed the release form to allow my recipe for roasted asparagus lasagna to be featured in the @Green City Market cookbook which is available to pre-order now! Visit http://bit.ly/1fiAqzD for more information now. #GCMcookbook. I’m
thrilled that one of my recipes made it into the book alongside recipes by top Chicago chefs such as Rick Bayless.
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I now have a list of new restaurants to try the next time I am in Dublin thanks to the December issue of “Food and Wine” magazine which includes an article on Dublin’s new indie food scene by New Yorker writer Lauren Collins. Collins writes that Dublin’s food and drink scene is more fun than it has been in years due to the economic downturn. She gives a shout out to brown bread ice cream at Murphy’s creamery, Oisin Davis’ gin flavored with Phoenix Park elderflowers at Damson Diner and sea buckthorn sorbet with foie gras parfait at the Greenhouse. She also mentions The Fumbally, KC Peaches, 777, Bear steakhouse, Crackbird, Grogan’s, and Clement and Pekoe tea shop. I can’t wait to book my next trip.
Update: Lauren Collin’s list of must-eat restaurants in Dublin is here: www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2013/11/15/dublin-restaurants. You’ll have to pick up the dead tree version of the magazine to read the full article.
I associate roast potatoes with special occasions such as a holiday dinner or a leisurely Sunday lunch. They seem like a special treat, but are not that difficult to make. As promised in a previous post, I am sharing my secret to perfect roast potatoes. I should say secrets, because there are several elements needed to achieve potatoes with a crispy, golden exterior and a dry, floury middle. First,it is essential to use a floury potato — that is, a potato that is good for mashing or baking. Russet potatoes are a good choice. Next, the potatoes should be as dry as possible before roasting. Do not leave them soaking in water before cooking and do not parboil them before roasting. This has led to family arguments — but I think the potatoes hold their shape better and are crispier if they are not parboiled. The potatoes should be cut into evenly sized pieces and dried before being placed in the fat. The fat should be heated before adding the potatoes to the roasting dish. The entire surface of the potatoes should be coated with fat at the start of roasting so they brown and crisp evenly. Duck fat is available at butchers, specialty grocers or online. It imparts a rich flavor to the potatoes, but you can certainly use lard, shortening or vegetable oil in its place.
The Secret to Perfect Duck Fat Roast Potatoes
- 4 russet or other floury potatoes
- 4 tbsps. duck fat (lard, shortening or vegetable oil can be substituted)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add duck fat to a roasting pan or dish. Place dish in the oven to heat the fat.
- Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut them into evenly sized pieces.
- Dry them thoroughly with a paper towel or clean dish (tea) towel.
- Remove dish with the heated fat from the oven. Add the potatoes to the dish and turn them over with a fork until each side of the potato is coated in fat. Return the dish to the oven.
- After 25 minutes turn the potatoes – the bottom of the potatoes should be golden brown – to brown the other side. Return to the oven for another 25 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown.