Beacon Coddle (Irish-Inspired Sausage, Potato and Guinness Stew)

A simple, rich and tasty stew inspired by Dublin Coddle, made with Irish sausages, potatoes, and Irish stout. Perfect for a hearty St Patrick's Day supper!
Dublin Coddle - Irish Sausage, Potato and Guinness Stew

If you’re familiar with our cooking style, you know we like big, bold flavors. When we were bouncing around some fun recipes to make for Saint Patrick’s Day, we kind of skidded right past Corned Beef and Cabbage and landed on the Dublin Coddle, a hearty stew made with potatoes and bangers (Irish sausages to you). It’s deeply savory, with a sauce packed with caramelized onions, smoky bacon and stout ale.

Our version has a few, let’s say, non-traditional ingredients. For a while, we retained the name “Dublin Coddle” for our adaptation, and, as you can see from the comments we’ve left online below the article, this did not go down well with lovers of the original. They were right, and we were wrong, and we apologize. Cooking and recipe creation often involves changing a few things to meet the circumstances of the cook, but we shouldn’t have retained the original name of a dish that many, many people love in its specificity.

We’ve rarely found a single online Dublin Coddle recipe that doesn’t have a host of comments after it saying “this is NOT how you make coddle”, but this Dublin Coddle recipe from the RTE site is a) at least created by an Irishman, and b) quite sensibly doesn’t allow comments, so you might look there for more geographically accurate fare. As to our version, we have renamed it the Beacon Coddle, in honor of our hometown.

Whether you go strict Dublin or try our Beacon variation, whether you’re preparing for cold winter months, or have just emerged from them, here’s to your health. We can promise that this will warm your cockles.

BEACON What Now?

Considered working class “city food”, an original Dublin Coddle or its Beacon-based adaptation is exactly what we crave on a chilly night after a long hard day. And like a lot of old world dishes, every house has their own coddle recipe. We found many versions calling for using water or milk in the pot, some Guinness, and others hard apple cider. We chose Guinness, for its sweet, malty flavor. The stock could be chicken, beef, or ham: basically whatever you have will work fine.

Along with the Guinness, we add a few surprising ingredients that make the sauce extra flavorful.

Choose Your Sausage Wisely

While this dish can be made with any good quality sausages, it’s worth it to search out Irish (or British) bangers. Unlike many sausages common in America, the pork in British sausages is very finely ground and the links contain both egg and a cereal called rusk. When seared, the outside will become crispy and tight while the inside stays juicy, tender and very flavorful, even after a long cooking time. (We talk a little more about British vs American sausages in our Dumpling-Flavored Sausage Rolls article).

Potatoes Important, Too

The type of potato is also important, since the dish is cooked low and slow, a starchy potato like a russet would fall apart. Waxy potatoes hold their shape best in soups and stews, so we recommend you use either red or, our favorite, Yukon Gold. As far as the bacon goes, lean back bacon is traditional but it’s hard to find here so we used regular thick-cut bacon (called streaky bacon in the UK), and loved the smoky flavor it gave the dish. It will release a lot more fat so you’ll probably want to drain most of it out before you cook the sausages.

The key ingredients to any Coddle: good Irish sausages, smoky bacon and potatoes (But choosing the right variety of potato is key).

Non-Traditional Additions

We also added a few ingredients to give the sauce a richer, fuller flavor. We added tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, both packed with umami, as well as a good amount of garlic and some fresh herbs. A few handfuls of chopped kale at the end of the process adds some freshness, as well as a welcome pop of green. You won’t find these ingredients in a traditional Dublin Coddle, but we’ll rarely make a stew without them.

Lacinato kale (sometimes called dinosaur kale) has the perfect texture for this stew, but curly kale is a good substitute.

Making the Coddle

To make the coddle, start by heating the oven to 300ºF/150ºC and placing a rack in the middle. Cook the bacon in a large (5 to 7 quart) Dutch oven or any heavy oven-safe pot with a lid. Keep the heat moderate, to allow the fat to render and crisp the bacon before it gets too brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate. If there’s a lot of fat in the pot, remove all but a couple of tablespoons.

Next, add as many sausages as will fit easily in a single layer. You may need to do this in two batches, but bangers brown quickly. Keep turning them until they’re brown all over. Remove them to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the sausages and set them aside (they won’t be fully cooked at this point). Leave the fat in the pot.

Next add the onions to the pot, along with a pinch of salt. Both bacon and sausages are salty, so, this is something we say rarely, but here you can go light on added salt. Add a good crack of pepper. Cook the onions, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. If the base threatens to burn, add a little water and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook until the onions soften and turn light golden brown, which will take about 10 minutes.

Let’s add some more flavor!

Add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the paste turns slightly darker, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the flour and cook for just another minute. Stir in the beer, stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Once it comes to a boil, the flour will cause the sauce to thicken. Stir it well to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.

Add the potatoes and sprinkle in the reserved bacon. Cut the sausages in half on a steep angle, and add them to the pot. The liquid should reach about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way to the top of the ingredients. Cover the pot with the lid, place it in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid, stir in the kale and let it cook, uncovered. This should take 15 to 20 more minutes, until the kale is tender. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed.

Dublin Coddle - Filled bowl with stew

Whatever you put in your pot, Beacon (or Dublin) Coddle is best enjoyed with a pint of Guinness (or your preferred local stout). Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Sláinte!

Dublin Coddle (Irish Sausage, Potato and Guinness Stew)
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3.40 from 5 votes

Beacon Coddle (Irish Sausage, Potato and Guinness Stew)

A simple, rich and tasty stew inspired by Dublin Coddle, made with Irish sausages, potatoes, and Irish stout. Perfect for a hearty St Patrick's Day supper!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Cuisine: british, Irish
Servings: 6


  • Dutch Oven


  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Irish sausages (bangers) or other high-quality pork sausage
  • 2 large yellow onions diced (about 3 cups)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 5 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup stout-style beer recommended, Guinness
  • 2 cups good quality beef, ham, or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or rosemary leaves (or a mix) or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 bunch Lacinato or curly kale ribs discarded, leaves roughly chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F and set a rack in the middle.
  • Add the bacon to a large Dutch oven (or any heavy, oven-safe pot with a tight lid) and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon renders it fat and turns crisp, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to drain on paper towels. Remove most of the fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot.
  • Add the sausages in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pot. Work in batches, if necessary. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over (sausage won’t be fully cooked at this stage), about 7 minutes. Remove sausages to a plate and set aside. Repeat with remaining sausages, if necessary.
  • Add the onions, along with a pinch of kosher salt (the bacon and sausages are both salty) and black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions turn soft and slightly golden, about 7 to 10 minutes. If the bottom of the pot threatens to burn, add a tablespoon or so of water and scrape the bottom of the pot with the spoon.
  • Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the flour and cook for another minute, whisking constantly. Stir in the beer, stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and thyme and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the potatoes and bacon to the pot. Cut the sausages in half on a steep angle and add them as well. The liquid won’t cover the sausages and that’s fine. Cover the pot with the lid, and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pot and stir in the kale. Return the pot to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
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8 thoughts on “Beacon Coddle (Irish-Inspired Sausage, Potato and Guinness Stew)”

    • No recipe in the world ever stays stable. At last count there were thousands of versions of Italian Bolgnese. Different regions in Italy can’t even agree how to spell it!

      So can you quote me the original recipe for Coddle? You cambric because it came around the late 1600’s. The first known recipes were written down in the 1700’s and would have varied from farm to farm depending on what was at hand.
      What you mean is this is not the version that mammy taught you.
      All recipes change, if they didn’t we wouldn’t have Coddle because at some point it was invented. That’s called change.

  1. I see people complaining and saying it’s not authentic. But I just had to come on here and let you know I made this for dinner tonight and my husband and I both loved it! Thank you for the recipe! It’s so full of flavor!

  2. 1 star
    I’m sure it’s delicious, but it’s definitely not coddle. Tomato? Kale? Garlic? Worcestershire sauce? Come on… It neither looks like, or would have the flavour of coddle. It’s easy enough to update the name to avoid the weird colonialist “I know better than you about your own culture” vibe here.
    That’s called change. 😉

    (And laughing at bangers… This is slang, we don’t actually call them that in a recipe. )

  3. 1 star
    A sausage and bacon hot pot it may be, but it’s not a Dublin Coddle. Never use tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, beer or flour in a traditional coddle. Cider maybe, but it’s a stretch. The stock is forgivable but the bay leaves are pushing it.

  4. 5 stars
    To the people with nothing better to do than troll on cooking sites I’m on train chef the stew may not be authentic just like the author said to Mommy’s recipe but it is delicious and well executed.


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