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Go straight to Recipes and ignore my ramblings

This food page is dedicated to traditional working class foods that I had the pleasure of living on as a young man in Dublin. I used to believe that food had to be either boiled to a pulp, stewed or covered in grease. It was only when I came to Australia that I was able to eat vegetables that had a crunch to them (I still prefer my veggies boiled to a pulp). Food was easy to prepare then, pop it in the pan and forget it. A dinner was not a dinner without a potato on the plate. I remember when Spaghetti Bolognaise was introduced to my home; my father had to have potatoes instead of spaghetti. Today Irish cooking is becoming as famous as French cooking, thanks to the likes of Mary Kinsella for her book "An Irish Farmhouse Cookbook"; Keith Floyd for "Floyd on Britain & Ireland" and numerous magazines like Family Circle's "Step by Step Irish Cooking.

As I said previously this is a page of working class foods, you will find no Lobster of Pheasant recipes on this page. Billy Connolly tells a story of how he was reading a Scottish cook book and he came across a recipe for left over pheasant, but as Billy said most people in Glasgow had never even seen a pheasant let alone had some left over.

Some of the entries on this page are memories of what I ate as a child. If you have any simple foods that you would like entered on this page please E-mail me @

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Quantities have not been given for some recipes, use your imagination

Potato Soup



Irish Stew

Potato Cakes


Rabbit Stew


Corned beef & Cabbage

Fried Bread


Stuffed Hearts

Tripe & Onions

Guinness Beef Stew

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Tea Brack

 Uncle Dan's Shanty potatoes

 Black and White Pudding

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Potato Soup


1kg potatoes

3 onions

6 cups of half milk and water

Chives or parsley

Rashers (streaky)

Salt and pepper

1 cup light cream.


Chop all above into chunks, except milk and cream.

Put chunks and milk into a large pot, cover and simmer gently until it goes to a pulp.

Put pulp in a blender and puree, add cream.

Reheat; place parsley or chives on top. Fried crispy bacon is added to the top on serving.

Other methods see cook books


A traditional meal from the northern counties of Ireland often served on Halloween.


1/2 kg raw potatoes

4 cups of flour

Salt & pepper

1/2 cup cooked mashed potatoes

1/4 cup of melted butter or bacon fat.


Peel raw potatoes and grate into a cloth.

Squeeze and catch liquid in a bowel.

Mix the grated potatoes with the mashed potatoes.

When the starch has gone to the bottom of the potato liquid pour of water and put starch on potatoes.

Mix well sieve in flour, salt and pepper. Add melted butter or fat.

Knead on a floured board. Shape into cakes.

Cook on a greased baking sheet in a moderate oven.


A favourite of mine, my cooking method is the method my Mother used, the cook book way takes too long and doesn't taste as good.


Ham or bacon slices as suit you

Onions as required

Chopped parsley


Salt and pepper

Pork sausages


Cut ham or bacon into small pieces

Cut potatoes into quarters

Cut onions into quarters or leave whole

Put all ingredients into large boiler.

Cover with water

Simmer until it becomes soupy

Irish Stew

It was not until I left Ireland that I realised that there was a real dish called Irish Stew. We just called it stew and for better of for worse it was a dish that could change in contents from one preparation to another. Anyhow here is one of the recipes. Ps it can be cooked like the Coddle above and it will still taste great.


Best end neck chops no fat, bone or gristle (Mutton)



Parsley & thyme mixes

Salt & Pepper


Cut meat into medium pieces

Peel and slice potatoes Peel and slice onions

Layer of potatoes in pan add herbs, salt and pepper

Layer of Meat

Layer of Onions

Repeat as long as ingredients last

Cover with water

Cover with foil then lid

Simmer as long as you like or until every thing is cooked.


Potato Cakes


2 Cups of self-raising flour

1 1/2 cups of mashed potato

1/4 cup of milk

2 heaped tablespoons of butter or fat



Mix butter or fat into flour

Add salt to taste

Mix in mashed potato and milk to make a soft dough

Roll out on a floured table

Cut into cakes

Bake in hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Eat hot with butter

Rabbit Stew

Take one garden-variety rabbit (free from whatever virus they are using now to kill them) pop it in a pot with veggies and hey presto Rabbit Stew.


1 rabbit

2oz Butter or marge

A couple of onions

A few mushrooms

A bunch of carrots

Parsley and Thyme

1/2 litre stock


Cut rabbit into manageable pieces

Fry rabbit in pan using butter or marge for a couple of minutes

Place remaining ingredients in a large saucepan (hold the mushrooms)

Add stock

Add Rabbit

Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours

When cooked add the mushrooms


Just thinking about this dish makes my mouth water. Maybe it's because my Mother only made it at Halloween. I suppose its like only having turkey at Christmas, something to look forward to. Anyhow you are supposed to place money or a ring in the prepared dish. Each item represented, wealth or marriage. My Mother only put money in the dish. Six pennies so all the kids got something, no fighting, clever Mother. This dish is supposed to be made using kale but cabbage will do nicely. Kale was once called borecole, the word kale was bestowed by the Scots who are the champion kale consumers. 


Kale or cabbage to suit


Scallions (shallots)


Plenty of butter

Salt & pepper



Chop up the kale or cabbage

Cook kale or cabbage

Cook potatoes

Drain potatoes season and mash them up well

Chop up the scallions or shallots and add to mash

Add the kale to mash

Add the milk to mash

Finally melt plenty of butter and add to the mash

Place the mix in a serving dish


Corned Beef & Cabbage

Hollywood loved this dish. All the priests in their pictures, who were usually Irish loved this dish, I think it even got a mention by John Wayne in the "Quiet Man". Anyhow a real favourite when I was a lad.


Corned Beef

Sliced carrots




Parsley and thyme

Salt & pepper


Place all the ingredients in a saucepan (hold the cabbage)

Cover with water and bring to the boil

Cover and simmer for three-quarters of an hour

Cut cabbage up into manageable lumps

Place in pan with the other ingredients

Cook for a further 45 minutes

Serve with the ever-present plate of spuds.

Fried Bread

A simple but tasty way to use up your old bread and grease. This is my idea of how fried bread should be made. A word of warning though, it may be detrimental to your health if you attempt this recipe.


Old or fresh bread

Left over grease from rashers, sausages, kidney, liver etc


Melt the grease in a solid bottomed pan

Dip each slice of bread into the grease and allow it to soak up the grease.

Place each slice of bread on a plate

Turn up the heat on the pan

Place each grease soaked slice back in the pan until golden brown

Garnish with salt

Pour a cup of tea and enjoy each unhealthy slice.


Well I think that we used to call this dish goody, if I am wrong please let men know. It was also a good way of getting rid of old bread and probably shutting up kids who were looking for more to eat.


Old bread




Break up the bread into small pieces and place in saucepan

Add milk and mix until the contents are mushy

Add sugar to taste

Boil contents

Eat from pot at a temperature to your liking



Also known as Pigs trotters or pigs feet. A great dish after or with a feed of Guinness. Before I give the recipe a story. Many years ago one of the hotels down in the Rocks, a well know part of Sydney decided to cash in on St Pat's day. They served Guinness in plastic glasses, with collars like turn downs on football socks, Irish stew and cruibins. The stew was reasonable, the Guinness drinkable after 3 or 4, but as for the cruibins. They had decide to roast them and tough is not the word. To day they serve a nice Guinness but not a trotter to be seen.


Pickled pork pigs trotters



Parsley and thyme

Salt and pepper


Place the lot in a pot

Bring to the boil

Simmer for 2 hours

Eat the hot or cold

Supply guests with plenty of paper towels or bibs

Stuffed Hearts

Described by some an offal dish, but beautiful to eat.



Margarine or butter





Salt & pepper


Chop the onions and fry lightly in some butter or marg

Added the chopped up apple

Make the stuffing and add the fried onions and apple

Add salt and pepper to taste

Mix in eggs

Wash and dry heart

Cut heart open fill with stuffing

Put in a baking dish and brush with cooking oil

Baste as you would a chicken

Cook until tender

Tripe & Onions

Now this is a dish that I have never been able to stomach, but some of you out there may have a stronger constitution. Before eating this dish, massage and exercise your jaws.





Salt and pepper


Cut tripe in to small pieces

Slice onions

Place tripe and onions in a pot cover with milk

Add plenty of salt and pepper

Simmer for 2 to 3 hours

Serve and chew like hell.

Guinness Beef Stew

I must admit I have only tasted this dish once. It was a few years ago when we had a St Pat's party and all the food was Irish based. To tell the truth I prefer my Guinness in a glass. I suggest that you use bottled Guinness for the cooking and have a can, the ones with the widget for drinking, whilst your cooking.


Stewing steak



Soaked Prunes (soak in Guinness)



Good drop of Guinness

Salt and pepper


Cut meat into serving pieces

Chop carrots and onions

Add all to a pot

Cook until all ingredients are tender

Add prunes just before serving

Set a roster for the toilet for the next morning.

Soda Bread

A favourite of mine when served hot and covered in butter. Left overs that go a bit stale are beautiful if fried or toasted.


500 g Flour

1/2 teaspoon breadsoda

275 ml buttermilk

Pinch of salt


Flour a baking tin

Sieve flour, salt and breadsoda into bowl

Add 200 ml of buttermilk

Mix to a loose dough

Add remaining buttermilk if necessary

Knead on board until smooth

Shape dough into a circular shape, mark a cross on the top

Place on floured tin

Bake for 40 to 45 mins at 200 C.

Irish Tea Brack- 3 cake mix


Lotsa strong tea (two pints at least with two + teabags soaked for 5 minutes if the teapot is empty)

1 kg mixed dried fruit

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

enough white self raising flour

3 or 4 tsp. mixed spice and or cinnamon

Preheat oven (middle shelf gas) at 350 degrees. Use 3 pound loaf tins.

Put fruit, sugar and mixed spice in large bowl, pour tea over. and go to bed.

Next mornin' add beaten egg and mix in with large fork. Fold in flour until it looks right (Julia will know). Place in 3 greased tins (no point in making only one cake)


Bake for 1 1/2 hours approximately. Leave for 10 minutes in tin after cooking, turn out. Eat one and freeze two. Keeps for ages. Lovely spread with butter or marmalade.

An Irish Fruit Cake

1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup of dried fruit
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
A bottle of whiskey


Sample the whiskey and check for quality.  Take a large bowl.Check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the very highest quality.  Pour one level cup and drink.   Repeat.  Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in large fluffy bowl. Add one spoon of sugar and beat again.  Make sure whiskey is still OK.   Have 'another sup. Turn off mixer. Break two eggs and add to bowl.  Chuck in cup of dried fruit.  Take out cup.  Mix on the turner. Sample whiskey again to check for consistency.  Next, sift two cups of salt, sugar or something, who cares?   Check whiskey.  Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.  Add one tablespoon of brown, white, black sugar, or whatever colour you can find. Wix mel. Grease the oven. Turn the cake pan to 350 gredees. Slide into oven. Get out of oven.  Do not forget to beat off the turner. Throw bowl out of window, check last of whiskey and go to bed.

Thanks to Kevin Gilmore for this gem


Uncle Dan's Shanty Potatoes

How they got the name:

My grandmother made potatoes that one of my uncles just loved to death. Grandma would not fix them every day as my uncle wished. Sooooo.  My uncle Dan learned how to make them.  One day he took the pot, with some water, a bunch of potatoes and went to the old shanty they had on the back area of their property.  He proceeded to make a fire in the shanty so he could cook his potatoes.  Well the shanty caught fire and the fire department had to extinguish the blaze but they could not extinguish the blaze in my uncle backside after grandma finished with him.  That's how this receipt got it's name.


Potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
A wee bit of salt and pepper to taste ( it best to let the hungry folks
salt and pepper to their individual taste). 1 Finely chopped Onion 
1 quarter pound of butter
water (just enough to cover the spuds)


Peel as many potatoes as you see fit, (about 2 to 3 pounds).  Cut the potatoes in cubes about one and a half inches.  Place potatoes in large pot.  Add  just   enough water to cover them.  Add small amount of sale and pepper to taste.   Add one quarter pound of butter.  Add Onion.  


Leave  the lid OFF of the pot so the liquid in the potatoes will cook down  to form a little sauce with the potatoes.  Place on a medium fire and let cook until you can insert a fork into a potato chunks.    Some of the potatoes will cook down to make a light potato sauce.  Serve hot.  Outstanding.  

After eating some you will understand why uncle Dan love them so much.  

Thanks to Cy Gilson for this little bit of history


Irish Stew from Buenos Aires
Cut the meat of leg of mutton into chunks.

Put the bacons into a frying pan.

Let the grease down, and remove the bacon, reserve, then fry the meat into the grease.

Prepare a soup with the bones and grease of the lamb.

Cut the onions and carrots into small pieces.

Cut the bacon in fine pieces too.


Put the half of meat and bacons with pepper, salt and thyme then all the vegetables and other part of meat, add the the strain soup and steam, simer for 20 minutes and then add the potatoes


Thanks to

Alicia Devoto

1 quarter pint of pig's blood
8 oz. bread cut into cubes
1 quarter pint of skimmed milk
1 lb. cooked barley
1 lb.fresh beef suet
8 oz. of fine oatmeal
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. ground black pepper
2 tsp. dried mint
Put the bread cubes to soak in the milk in a warm oven. Do not heat the milk beyond blood temperature.  Have the pig's blood ready in a large bowl, and pour the warm milk and bread into it.  Stir in the cooked barley.  Grate the beef suet into the mixture and stir it up with the oatmeal.  Season with salt & pepper & mint.
Have ready 2 or 3 large roasting pans.
Divide the mixture between them...they should not be more than 3/4 full.
Bake in a moderate oven (350F) for about an hour, or until the pudding is well cooked through.
This makes a beautifully light pudding which will keep well in the fridge or freezer.
Cut into squares and fry  in bacon fat or butter until heated through and the outside is crisp.
Serves is normally fried and an essential part of a traditional Irish Breakfast.
Or...for supper, with fried apple and mashed potatoes.
This is a variety made using minced liver instead  (my favourite)
 Thanks to Lynn...Queensland


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Last Updated 19-Apr-09