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Excerpt: An Irish Country Cookbook by Patrick Taylor

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Told from the perspective of beloved housekeeper Kinky Kincaid, one of the cherished starring characters in Taylor’s An Irish Country series, An Irish Country Cookbook explores Ireland’s rich culture through its delicious dishes and stories of its charming people. These authentic tried-and-true family recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, and are the original comfort food for millions. Organized into sections such as: starters, soups, breads, mains, sides, sauces, desserts, cakes, candy and treats, and Ulster Christmas recipes, this cookbook brings the magic of Irish cooking and time-honored Irish traditions to life.

The ten short stories starring Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, Dr. Barry Laverty, and the colorful village of Ballybucklebo will delight fans of the series and new readers alike. From starters to sauces, Irish soda bread to Christmas dinner, these memorable dishes will bring a taste of the world of the Irish Country books to every kitchen.

Start cooking with An Irish Country Cookbook on February 7th. Please enjoy these sample recipes.

Irish Potato Bread

This is a great way of using up leftover mashed potatoes and takes no time at all to make. Also called potato farls, Irish Potato Bread is traditionally served with an Ulster Fry (here) and may be frozen until needed.

 Makes 4

  • 1 lb/455 g potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 4 oz/113 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 oz/28 g butter, softened
  • ½ tsp salt

While the potatoes are still warm, mash together with the other ingredients, then knead and roll on a floured board into a flat round. Cut into four farls (from the old Scots word fardel, meaning “fourth”), and place on a hot, lightly greased frying pan of a size large enough to accommodate them. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Reheat in a dry pan or toaster, or in the microwave.

 Oven Soda Bread

Traditionally, soda bread was shaped into a round and placed into a greased iron pot called a Bastible. This looked rather like a Dutch oven and was hung over the fire in the hearth.

Makes 1

  • 1 lb/455 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 oz/28 g butter
  • 20 oz/590 ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Grease a 9 by 5-in (23 by 12-cm) loaf tin or a flat baking sheet.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter. Add the buttermilk and work gently but quickly into a soft dough. Place in the loaf tin or make into a round shape and place on the baking sheet. If you are making a round cake you need to mark a cross in the top to let the Devil out or to make it easier to cut into four segments. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will sound hollow when the bottom is knocked. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool and cover with a damp tea towel.

Kinky’s Note:
Sometimes Ma would add currants or raisins just for a change. I loved this bread sliced and toasted (using a long-handled toasting fork shaped like a trident) in front of the fire and smothered with butter.

Copyright © 2017 by Patrick Taylor

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7 thoughts on “Excerpt: An Irish Country Cookbook by Patrick Taylor

  1. My mother made soda bread every 2-3 days; when she passed away 5 yrs ago, I received her cast iron pan she used to bake her bread.. I already had her recipe and I bake it several times a month… It is delicious, potato bread also

  2. Isn’t the Irish Potato Bread the same as Scottish Potato pancakes? Love soda bread will try this recipe.

  3. I am 5th or 6th generation Irish in Canada.. I have been to Ireland and it was like going home.. honestly.. The irish soda bread is amazing.. you can make it as a bread.. or as a dessert bread by adding currents and raisens,,, in my house that neer got cold LOL.. I tried doubling the recipe.. the record it lasted was one day for all of it.. I think we can safely say.. if you look up comfort food in the directory.. it will come under Irish soda bread. simple fast and wonderful .. OH.. did i mention im a guy .. and I cook this when crowds show up. LOL

  4. I have read all of Patrick Taylor’s “Irish Country Doctor ” books. The characters and turn of phrase make me chuckle and transport me back to my native Ulster. I ordered my Cookbook today and will eagerly await its arrival. Patrick’s 3 more serious books about “The Troubles” are also great reads.

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