Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Irish hotpot: a recipe for St Patrick's day

With St Patrick's day round the corner, I thought I'd tell you about a delish Irish dish I cooked last weekend. As I'd not done a proper supermarket shop for some time, the only exciting foodstuffs I had in the house were Tesco Healthy Eating pork sausages and Sainsbury's white potatoes ("multipurpose, tasty and versatile" no less). The obvious choice was bangers and mash, but I fancied something a little more exciting, so I googled "sausage+potato" and came up with a recipe for an Irish hotpot.

Now, I've heard all the jokes about Irish cooking, but I decided to give it a go purely because this particular dish seemed simple and quick, and I had all the ingredients to hand. The result completely surpassed my expectations. I'd never have thought that you could prepare a scrumptious meal with such basic ingredients, but scrumptious it definitely was.

In case you're looking for inspiration this weekend, here is the recipe as modified by moi:

Heat 2 tbsp of groundnut oil in a shallow casserole dish with a lid and fry the onion and sausages until starting to brown.
Add potato slices and cook, stirring occasionally until golden.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1 tbsp of English mustard and half a tbsp of French wholegrain mustard (to get some cross-cultural flavours going ;-) to the stock, then pour into the casserole.
Cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Preheat the grill to medium.
Scatter 200 gr of grated Cheddar cheese over the top.
Put the casserole under the grill for 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
Serve with steamed vegetables (we had green beans).

1. If you're on a diet, steer clear! I reckon there were 1,000 calories per mouthful (but if you went easy on the cheese it might be OK-ish, like you'd only need to fast for a couple of days to make up for it).

2. I have no idea if this is a "proper" Irish dish or not. My past contact with all things Irish is limited to drinking coffee with Baileys, watching Ed Byrne on TV and reading Marian Keyes novels. I know nothing about Irish cuisine and very little about any other cuisine.

3. The doggy's got nothing to do with the recipe. I used the photo because it looked cute :-)


Sarah said...

That's funny, because I ate Irish hotpot too the other day. A more authentic one though, made with lamb.

I think the original recipe uses crappy old cuts of tough meat which are stewed in their own juice for ages, and topped with slices of potato which absorb the flavour of the lamb juice.

Sausages are actually pretty versatile when you start googling recipes!

Tinsie said...

Hi Sarah, welcome to the blog.
I'm afraid I'm destined never to have the authentic Irish hotpot, as I don't eat lamb. The sausage one was pretty good though :-)
You're right about sausages too, I used to only ever eat them as bangers and mash, but lately I've come across quite a few recipes that are a lot more imaginative.

My Marrakech said...

This photo really made me smile! How fun. Hmmm...I wonder if my dog would me dress him up this way:-) And thank you so much for visiting my blog.

Jasmine said...

Happy St Patrick's day.

The dog looks so cute. I doubt my dogs will allow the hat to stay put for more than 2 seconds!

The recipe sounds delish. I might try it this weekend.

Tinsie said...

@ My Marrakech: Great to see you here. I hope your dog will forgive me if I've given you any ideas ;-)

@ Jasmine: I think you need dogs with a placid personality for this kind of dressing up hehe.
Let us know how the recipe turns out.