An Irish Country Cookbook: More Than 140 Family Recipes from Soda Bread to Irish Stew, Paired with Ten New, Charming Short Stories from the Beloved Irish Country Series

An Irish Country Cookbook: More Than 140 Family Recipes from Soda Bread to Irish Stew, Paired with Ten New, Charming Short Stories from the Beloved Irish Country Series

by Patrick Taylor


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From New York Times, USA Today, and Globe and Mail bestselling author Patrick Taylor comes ten new short stories in the popular An Irish Country series paired with more than 150 delicious Irish family recipes in An Irish Country Cookbook.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765382795
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 02/07/2017
Series: Irish Country Series
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

PATRICK TAYLOR, M.D. was born and raised in Bangor County Down in Northern Ireland. Dr. Taylor is a distinguished medical researcher, offshore sailor, model-boat builder, and father of two grown children. He lives on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. He is the author of An Irish Country Doctor, An Irish Country Love Storyand many others in the beloved Irish Country series.

Read an Excerpt

An Irish Country Cookbook

By Patrick Taylor, Dorothy Tinman, Rhys Davies, John James Sherlock

Tom Doherty Association Book

Copyright © 2017 Ballybucklebo Stories Corp.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-8926-2




In the wintertime when Doctor O'Reilly was going duck shooting down to Strangford Lough, he liked to take a flask of soup with him, usually some hard-boiled or Scotch eggs, and a good chunk of bread and some cheddar cheese. He said that being out on a cold, frosty morning waiting for the dawn and the ducks of course gave him a great appetite. Sure isn't it grand but I never found his appetite to be anything but insatiable.

Real chicken stock is something that a reasonably good cook is likely to have at hand or in the freezer. If you boil a chicken to cook it then what you have left is real chicken stock. People also cook chicken carcasses to make stock.

However, stock cubes or powder are as good a substitute and make for a quick tasty soup.

This is one of his favourites:

Creamy Chicken Soup

Serves 4
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
1 medium, boneless chicken breast, diced, skin removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
20 oz/590 ml chicken stock (you can use stock cubes)
10 oz/295 ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heavy cream
Finely chopped fresh parsley

Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the pieces of chicken, turning frequently to lightly brown them on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Now add the onion and potato to the pan and stir gently over a very low heat to prevent sticking. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and the pan lid. Continue to sweat gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the potato has softened. Discard the parchment.

Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring back to the boil. Continue to simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, add the milk, and season with salt and pepper. Liquidise the soup using an immersion blender or food processor. Serve with a little swirl of cream and some parsley.

Kinky's Note:

Covering the vegetables with parchment paper and cooking very gently creates steam and is called "sweating." This enables the maximum amount of moisture and flavour to be extracted.

Pea and Ham Soup

Serves 4 to 6
1 lb 2 oz/500 g dried peas
1 large onion, peeled
10 whole cloves
1 ham bone, plus 6 oz/170 g diced cooked ham
48 oz/1.4 L ham stock or vegetable stock cubes
2 or 3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley
Heavy cream

Soak the peas overnight in cold water. The next day drain them and place them in a large saucepan. Stud the onion with the cloves and add it to the pan, along with the ham bone, stock, and bay leaves. Bring to the boil. As the peas come to the boil, a scum will come to the surface so just skim and discard this. Leave to boil for about an hour, by which time the peas should be soft.

Remove the bone, onion, and bay leaves and liquidise the remainder with a blender or food processor. Taste before seasoning with salt, as the ham stock may be quite salty. Add the freshly ground black pepper, diced ham, parsley, and a generous swirl of cream to the soup before serving.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Croutons

Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes, are a much-neglected winter vegetable. They are very easy to grow, so easy in fact that if you are planning to try, just remember that they are also a very invasive plant. The tubers grow like potatoes underground and if you don't manage to dig them all up they will multiply and come back again with a vengeance the following season. They were introduced to Europe in the seventeenth century by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who discovered them growing in Cape Cod.

Jerusalem artichokes are a member of the sunflower family and, like their flower relations, also grow very tall. The name is thought to have been a corruption of the word girasol which means "sunflower" in Italian. They look like knobbly potatoes and are not easy to peel. However, if they are fresh and firm without too many knobs and bumps, you may only need to give them a good brushing in cold water to clean them.

Serves 6 to 8
2 oz/56 g butter
2&188; lb/1 kg Jerusalem artichokes, cleaned and chopped
1&188; lb/570 g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1&188; lb/570 g onions, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
40 oz/1.2 L chicken stock
20 oz/590 ml milk
Chopped fresh parsley
Croutons (recipe follows)
Sesame oil or maple syrup

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, then add the artichokes, potatoes, and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with parchment paper and the pan lid and sweat gently over a low heat for about 10 minutes, checking often to ensure that the vegetables are not sticking. Remove the parchment paper, add the stock, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Liquidise the soup using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender and return to the heat. Thin to the consistency of thick cream, adding the milk gradually, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into individual bowls, sprinkle with parsley and croutons, drizzle with oil or syrup, and serve.


Butter 4 slices of thick white bread. Cut into cubes, spread onto a baking sheet, and bake in a 375°F/190°C oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown.


Parsnip and Apple Soup. Substitute peeled, chopped parsnips for the potatoes, and peeled, cored, and chopped tart apples for the artichokes. Drizzle with maple syrup instead of oil.

Kinky's Note:

Whilst Bramley apples would have been the cooking apples of choice in Ulster, if they are not available, try using Braeburn or any other slightly tart variety.

Leek and Potato Soup

Serves 4
3 leeks
A knob of butter
1 onion, chopped
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
20 oz/590 ml vegetable stock; add extra if needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 oz/295 ml heavy cream
Chopped fresh parsley

Chop the leeks and wash very carefully in several changes of salted water. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently for about 10 minutes, until cooked but still translucent. Add the leeks. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and vegetable stock and extra if necessary to cover. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are done. Add the cream, garnish with parsley, and serve.


Vichyssoise. On a warm summer's day I like to make the leek and potato soup as above but I serve it really well chilled. The French call this vichyssoise. For a different garnish use chopped scallions.

Lentil Soup

This is a substantial lunch soup and goes very well with my Guinness Bread (here), which I'm sure you'll all enjoy.

Serves 6
1 Tbsp sunflower or canola oil
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
40 oz/1.2 L vegetable stock
20 oz/590 ml water
12 oz/340 g red lentils, washed
1 small can tomato puree (103/4 oz/305 g)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heavy cream
Chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the potato, onion, carrots, and celery. Cover with parchment paper and the pan lid and sweat gently over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft but not brown. Remove the parchment paper and add the stock, water, lentils, tomato puree, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a slow simmer, and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Liquidise the soup using a blender or food processor and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a little swirl of cream and some parsley.

Kinky's Note:

Instead of vegetable stock use stock made with a ham bone.

Mussel and Seafood Chowder

Here is another very substantial lunch soup, especially when served with my Irish Wheaten Bread (here) and butter.

Serves 4
1 lb/455 g mussels, scallops, and peeled shrimp
8 oz/235 ml dry white wine
1&189; lb/680 g skinless and boneless white fish, such as cod, haddock, or
15 oz/445 ml milk
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil
1 oz/28 g butter
4 oz/113 g bacon, chopped
1&189; lb/680 g potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
4 oz/120 ml heavy cream
1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
A handful of chopped fresh parsley

First, clean the mussels and, using a sharp knife, remove the beard. (That's the little tufty bit on the shell.) Bring the wine to the boil in a large saucepan, add the mussels, cover, and cook for about 4 minutes. Discard any that did not open and remove most of the rest from their shells, leaving just a few in the shell for decoration. Reserve the cooking liquid.

In another pan, simmer the fish in the milk with the thyme and bay leaf for just a few minutes until cooked but still firm. Remove the fish and set to one side. Discard the bay leaf and season the cooking liquid well with salt and pepper.

Now heat the oil and butter in a deep pan, add the bacon, and sauté until crisp. Add the potatoes, leek, carrot, and shallot. Cover and cook gently, without browning, for a few minutes. Add the cooking liquid from the mussels and the fish and simmer all together until the potatoes are soft and breaking up. (You may wish to blend this briefly with an immersion blender or process some of it in a blender or food processor if you think it looks too chunky.) Then add the scallops and shrimp. They will only need a very little time to cook so watch that you do not overcook them or they will become rubbery.

Finally, add the fish and the cooked mussels together with the cream and fish sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add parsley. If the chowder is too thick just add some more milk or water and adjust the seasoning if necessary before serving.

Pea and Mint Soup

Serves 4
1 oz/28 g butter
1 small bunch scallions, chopped
1&189; lb/680 g fresh peas, shelled, or frozen peas
25 oz/740 ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
A large handful of mint leaves, chopped, plus mint leaves for serving
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz/235 ml heavy cream or crème fraîche

Melt the butter in a large cooking pot and add the scallions. Sauté gently for a few minutes until soft. Then add the peas, stock, mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Boil for 3 or 4 minutes until the peas are cooked. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Liquidise using a blender or food processor and chill. Mix in the cream and decorate with mint leaves before serving.

Kinky's Note:

This soup has a coarse texture but if you would prefer it to be smooth you could blend it for longer or push it through a sieve. And of course on days when the wind is howling like a stepmother's breath you can serve it hot.

Potato Soup

Serves 4
6 slices bacon, chopped, or 4 oz/113 g, chopped
2 oz/56 g butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb 2 oz/500 g russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
25 oz/740 ml chicken stock or ham stock
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp sour cream
4 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

Fry the bacon in the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan until crisp. Remove from the pan and set to one side. In the buttery residue, fry the onion over a gentle heat until it is starting to go soft but not browned. Add the potatoes, cover with parchment paper and the pan lid, and sweat over a very low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, checking often to make sure that the vegetables are not sticking.

Discard the parchment. Add the stock, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste to the pan and bring to the boil. If any surface scum forms, just remove it with a slotted spoon. Reserve some bacon for a garnish and return the rest of the bacon to the pan and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Remove the bay leaf and half the bacon and process using an immersion blender. (You can leave this as chunky as you like or make it smooth and creamy. If it is too thick just add a little milk.) Add salt if necessary. Garnish with the sour cream, chives, and reserved bacon, and serve.

Tomato Soup

Serves 4 to 6
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 lb/910 g ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped, or equivalent weight in
canned tomatoes
34 oz/1 L vegetable stock or chicken stock (good-quality stock cubes are
grand for this)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh basil or parsley
Heavy cream

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the onions, carrot, and potatoes. Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the stock, garlic, and sugar and simmer for about 15 minutes. With an immersion blender or in a food processor, puree until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a swirl of cream and chopped basil.

Kinky's Note:

If using fresh tomatoes, immerse them in boiling water for a minute then plunge them into ice cold water and draw a line round the tomato with a sharp knife. This will make it easy to peel off the skin. When I am in a hurry, I like to use the canned tomatoes instead, which I think have a better flavor anyway.

Doctor Laverty told you in the introduction that I had asked him to write down some of his memories of 1964, the first year he worked with Doctor Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly. Barry told me that for a young man fresh from the sheltered world of boys' boarding school and the cloistered medical school, meeting our boss for the first time and moving into Number One Main Street, Ballybucklebo, in County Down could only be described as culture shock. The rural peaceful village itself and the surrounding country were certainly a refreshing change from Belfast city life. The region was populated with characters as diverse as Donall Donnelly, an arch trickster; Councillor Bertie Bishop, builder, Grand Master of the local Orange Lodge, and all-round bastard; Cissie Sloan, a woman with a heart of corn, but who never stopped talking; and Maggie MacCorkle, Barry's first patient, who complained of headaches — two inches above the crown of her head. Barry laughed at my request, but he did as I'd asked.

I did a bit of rewriting and here is the first story.

A Source of Innocent Merriment

Doctor O'Reilly was an impatient man, but on occasions when faced with what he thought was someone showing off or being a smart Alec needing to be taught a lesson, he could bide until the time was absolutely right to give the subject their comeuppance. Then he'd pounce on the unsuspecting victim like one of those jumping spiders. I know because he did it to me.

In September of 1964, we had driven up to Belfast to attend a lecture at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

I'd only been working for him for a few weeks. Someone, and for once I can't quote my source, something which we had been trained to do as young doctors, but someone said, "A first impression is the one thing you don't get a second chance to make."

It had been that way when I had first met my illustrious senior. I'd been standing on his doorstep, having just rung the doorbell hoping to meet a rural GP who had advertised for an assistant. To my amazement the door had burst open. An ogre stood there and hurled a small man and a sock and shoe into a rose bush. "Next time, Seamus Galvin, you want me to look at a sore ankle, wash your bloody feet." You can imagine what my first impression of Doctor Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, physician and surgeon, was and based on that I was determined to do my very best not to antagonise him. I also set out to show him that although I might be freshly minted, I really did know my stuff. Perhaps I tried too hard.

Now, to return to the lecture in question. Part of a series put on for GPs by the consultants at the teaching hospital, it concerned diseases like multiple sclerosis, cerebellar ataxia, and Friedrich's ataxia, all arcane neurological disorders. Ataxia, I should explain, is the inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements.

The speaker said, "One diagnostic sign is the presence of dysdiadochokinesia ..."

"Begob," whispered O'Reilly, who was giving the outward appearance of being bored silly, "if you put an air to that you could sing it."

I shushed him and tried to concentrate.

When the lecture finished and it was time for questions, I stuck up my hand and asked what I thought was an erudite one and, hoping to impress O'Reilly, cited Houston, Joiner, and Trounce; 1962, as the source of the information upon which the question and my subsequent elaboration were based. I stole a glance to see my senior frown, shake his head, and grunt. Perhaps I hadn't quite succeeded in having the effect I had intended.

Never mind. I was easily distracted when he said, "All the listening would give a fellah a thirst. Let's nip across the road to O'Kane's Pub before we drive home. I'd go a pint and a nibble."

"Fair enough," I said, falling into step for the short walk to the Grosvenor Road.

"Go on in," he said, holding open the door. The place was a fug of tobacco smoke, beery smells, and snatches of conversation. I knew the pub well because in my day it had been a favourite haunt of medical students and junior doctors.


Excerpted from An Irish Country Cookbook by Patrick Taylor, Dorothy Tinman, Rhys Davies, John James Sherlock. Copyright © 2017 Ballybucklebo Stories Corp.. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Association Book.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction 17

Explanation of Measurements 23

Temperature Chart 25

Starters 27


Creamy Chicken Soup 31

Pea and Ham Soup 32

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Croutons 33

Parsnip and Apple Soup 34

Leek and Potato Soup 35

Lentil Soup 36

Mussel and Seafood Chowder 37

Pea and Mint Soup 39

Potato Soup 40

Tomato Soup 41

Story: A Source of Innocent Merriment 45

Light Plates

Chicken Liver Pàté 57

Scotch Eggs 58

Veal Liver Pàté 60

Fishy Starters

Avocado Mousse with Shrîmp 63

Gravadlax, Irish-Style 64

Gravadlax Bon-Bon 65

Horseradish Cream 65

Mustard Sauce 66

Mussels in Guinness 67

Smoked Mackerel Pàté 69

Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese 70

Smoked Salmon Pàté 71

Strangford Sea Scallops Marinated with Mango, Avocado, and Chili Salsa 72

Tuna Tartare 73

Story: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place 75


Barmbrack 87

Buttermilk Pancakes 88

Farls-Soda, Treacle, and Wheaten 89

Guinness Bread 91

Irish Potato Bread 93

Irish Wheaten Bread 94

Potato and Pumpkin Seed Bread 96

Potato-Apple Fadge 98

Oven Soda Bread 99

Ulster Buttermilk Scones 100

Story: I've Halfa a Mind To … 101

Mains 109

Traditional Ulster Fry 111

Kinky's Eggs Benedict with Soda Furls 113


Beef Wellington 117

Venison Wellington 118

Beef and Dumplings 119

Suet Dumplings 119

Beef Cobbler 120

Cobbler Scone Topping 120

Beef and Guinness Stew 122

Corned Beef Curry 123

Cottage Pie with Champ Topping 125

Homity Pie 127

Steak and Kidney Pudding 130

Suet Pastry 130

Steak and Kidney Pie 132

Quick Flaky Pastry 133

Steak and Mushroom Pie 134

Story: Grave, Where Is Thy Victory? 135

Chicken and Duck

Irish Country Chicken Breasts 145

Chicken with Green Peppercorns 146

Lemony Chicken with Mustard Sauce 147

Pan-Seared Duck Breasts with Port and Redcurrant Sauce 148

Pan-Seared Duck Breasts with Rhubarb Sauce 149

Parmesan Chicken 150


Irish Stew 153

Braised Lamb Shanks 155

Lamb Wellington 157

Roast Rack of Lamb with Gaper Sauce 159

Roast Fillet of Lamb 160

Story: 'It's a 'Knockout 161


Dublin Coddle 171

Pork in Mustard Sauce 172

Roast Loin of Pork 173

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin 174

Toad in the Hole 175


Fish Pie 179

Kedgeree 181

Mustard Baked Fish 183

Potted Herrings 184

Salmon in a Pickle 185

Simple Baked Fish 186

Story Forms, Forms, Forms 189

Side Dishes 197


Apple Chutney 202

Beet Chutney 203

Cranberry Chutney 204

Mint Chutney 205

Plum Chutney 206

Vegetable Side Dishes

Champ 209

Colcannon 210

Crispy Flourless Potato Cake 211

Bacon and Leek Pudding 212

Himmel und Urde 213

Marinated Mushrooms 214

Lemon Rice 214

Onion Pudding 216

Potato and Celeriac Mash 217

Potato Gratin 218

Roast Potatoes 219

Spicy Red Cabbage 220

Yorkshire Pudding 222

Story: Yon Win Some, You Lose Some 225

Sauces and Jelly

Sauce Béanaise 235

Hollandaise Sauce 236

Easy Bread Sauce 237

Caper Sauce 238

Reel Wine Sauce 239

Port and Redcurrant Sauce 240

Cranberry Sauce 241

Redcurrant Jelly 242

Frock toil (Bilberry or Blueberry) Jelly 243

Crème Andaise 244

Lemon Curd 245

Brandy Sauce 246

Mint Sauce 247

Story: Any Port in a… 249

Oesserts 257


Apple and Bread-Crumb Pudding 262

Caramelized Armagh Apple and Cinnamon Brûlée 263

Apple Compote 263

Chocolate Mousse 265

Chocolate Pots 266

Coffee Ice Cream 267

Crème Brûlée 268

Eton Mess 269

Plum or Rhubarb Eton Mess 270

Lemon Pots 272

Marmalade Pudding 273

Grange and Chocolate Scufflé 274

Pavlova 275

Queen of Puddings (Bread and Butter Pudding) 277

Rhubarb Fool 279

Denis à la Neige (Eggs in Snow) 281

Sticky Toffee Pudding 283

Strawberry or Raspberry Ice Cream 285

Story: A Matter of Chutzph 287

Cakes and Biscuits

Cheese Straws 297

Dark Guinness Cake with Jameson Cream Icing 298

Dark Guinness Layer Cake 299

Ginger Biscuits 301

Guinness Gingerbread 302

Orange Sponge Cake 304

Very Easy Boiled Fruit Cake 306

Quick Flaky Pastry 307

Candy and Treats

Chocolate Truffles 311

Fudge 312

Peppermint Creams 313

Yellow Man M4

Story: Christmas Dreams 317

Ulster Christmas Recipes 327

Turkey with Stuffing and Gravy 331

Glazed Roast Ham 334

Very Easy Bread Sauce 336

Sweet Mince 337

Brandy Butter 338

Christmas Cake with Royal king and Marzipan 339

Christmas Pudding 342

Irish Coffee 344

A Hot Irish 345

Epilogue 347

Some Helpful Advice from Kinky 354

Acknowledgments 357

Glossary 358

Index 361

Customer Reviews