Posted on: 21 July 2014 No comments

“They go on about Michelin stars

They can go and stick them up their arse

Forget Michelin squire, if you want a spare tyre

Try a coddle an’ a few bleedin’ jars”


Coddle, a rasher and sausage stew beloved of Dubs since time immemorial. Such is the devotion that The Hairy Bowsies have to this humble local dish, they’ve written a song about it. If you are not already familiar with this comedy duo’s outstanding musical repertoire and fervent nationalist beliefs, then you should make a date to see them at the upcoming Vodafone Comedy Festival. Set amongst the picturesque, grassy knolls of The Iveagh Gardens this is a place that the lads reckon should be used for other activities when it’s not filled with festivals, “I believe it is an Irish man’s right and duty to lug a crate of cider out to any of the former British pleasure gardens and reclaim what is rightfully ours.”

We should point out that it is great to see that The Hairy Bowsies will be back on stage again soon. For they were so depressed when their ballad “Spit on the Brits” didn’t get accepted to represent Ireland in the Eurovision, it didn’t look they could ever face the public again. But as band member Scribbler O’Donohoe explains, “while the song itself was very popular with the people, it was prohibited as a condition in the Good Friday Agreement.”  They took one for the team. Bowsies and Gents.

And while they still have an impassioned hatred against our former rulers, it wouldn’t be fair to say that they are equally vitriolic about its people. For instance, when they speak of their favourite Irish food dish, Coddle, they refer to it as, “the Oliver Reed of the food world.” To add greater depth to that statement, vocalist Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly also told me, “We would be a lot better off in Dublin today if we got rid of all this modern microwave rubbish and best before dates – a Coddle was best before it got cold and best after twenty five pints.” Just make sure you don’t put any carrots into your Coddle for as the Hairy Bowsies would advise, “anything orange doesn’t belong in a truly Irish dish.”

8 oz rashers
1lb Irish pork sausages
1 cup chicken stock
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into thick slices
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley


Start off by cutting the rashers into strips. Bring the stock up to the boil in a medium saucepan. Drop in the sausages and the bacon and let them simmer for 5 minutes so that they can cook and flavour the stock.

Remove the sausages and bacon with a slotted spoon and keep the liquid. Cut each sausage into four or five chunks. Lash in the spuds, onions, sausages and bacon into the pot.

Cover and simmer gently for about an hour. Add the parsley and some black pepper and serve in a bowl.

The Hairy Bowsies will be performing at The Vodafone Comedy Festival next week.

Little J’s Slow Cooked Ribs

Posted on: 30 May 2014 No comments

In decades past, parents would have perhaps taught their young daughters how to darn socks and bake scones. The highest degree of skill sharing that a mother would bestow upon her female child, would have been to reveal the secrets to her beef stew. Thanks be to God those days are over! To prove that point, say hello to Little J. The 12 year old DJ sensation whose father taught her everything he knew. Last year she played a blinding set at Body & Soul at her parent’s festival tent, MyHouse. And the good news is, her whole family are back to rock it all out again in Ballinlough this June.


Inspiration for her DJ sets comes from listening to the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC Radio 6. When it comes to her favourite killer tracks to get hips shaking, she says, “I think my best floor fillers are “Highgrade” by Gentlemen’s Dub Club and “Devil in Disguise” by Elvis Presley.” Surely she must be gigging at school events and birthday parties? “I haven’t played at many because most of my friends aren’t into the same music as me and prefer more mainstream songs.” She’s just way ahead of the pack. Much respect.

Little J’s favourite food dish is slow cooked pork ribs and her folks have given us details on how to make them perfectly! As a special treat for all those attending Body & Soul this year, we’ve got a wee collaboration going on with Burger Republic.  They’re going to be selling Little J’s Slow Cooked Pork Ribs on Saturday at their revved up Airstream Van in the walled garden. These carnivorous delights will be on sale for just €10, while stocks last! Once you’ve wolfed them down, pop down to MyHouse to dance them off. Big shout out to Little J and her mammy and daddy. The family that djs and eats ribs together, stays together!


2 Whole racks of Babyback Pork Ribs
1 teacup of your favourite sweet& spicy BBQ sauce
For the dry spice mix: Combine the following together
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon mild chilli powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons of salt


Rub enough spice mix on the ribs so that they’re well covered.

Wrap them with a few layers of cellophane. Get it as airtight as you can.
Don’t be alarmed by this, but you now have to throw the ribs into your oven with the
cellophane still on but at an 80 degree heat. Don’t be scared. The
cellophane will not melt!

Leave the ribs in the oven for as long as you can. Feel free to lash
them in the oven before you go to bed and take them out 8 hours later, but definitely leave them in for a minimum of 6 hours.

After you’ve done that, remove the cellophane. Drain off any fat and
stick it into the sauce. Let the ribs sit for a while and then baste
them with the sauce. You can grill them on your barbie or just stick
them under your grill in the kitchen. Give them another basting with
the sauce if you can before you finish grilling them.

Little J is djing at MyHouse throughout the weekend at Body & Soul, Summer Solstice. This piece is also available to read in today’s issue of The Irish Times.

Jason & Brenda Byrne’s Veggie Chilli

Posted on: 25 April 2014 No comments

If you are indeed, lucky enough to pin down the frantic Jason Byrne for an interview, there truly is no way of knowing what he may come out with next. Then again, when you’re a globally touring comic, there can be as much insanity from the punters as there is from the stage. As Jason outlined in one incident, “Here in Melbourne, a fella brought in a bag with two spiders and a snake in it, he was sitting in the audience and said he was a vet, people were terrified.”

It was actually in Australia that he kicked off his, “You Name The Show” campaign, where his fans had to name the new show, not him. This unique approach brought back some great results which he was more than willing to share on his brilliant social media posts. But his own personal favourites were, “The picture of a knob drawn on the poster,”The Ginger Ballinteer Minge Brigade” and “YOU name the show.”

And when he’s not waxing lyrical about the antics of his fanbase, he’s quite happy to get back to telling us about his own somewhat unusual idiosyncrasies and indeed, those of his family. When I asked him about what kinds of special food traditions they have at his house, he had this to say, “Every Easter, we all go to my mum’s house to taste her famous Chocolate Easter Jesus pie. She makes it in the shape of Jesus on the cross and there are smarties in his head.”

Between outrageous audience members and semi blasphemous holiday cakes, its no wonder that Jason craves one piece of edible familiarity when he’s off the road. His wife’s amazing Vegetarian Chilli. At least that’s one element in his life that comfortably lacks any big surprises. Here’s how she does it….



2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 large, chopped Spanish onion

6 garlic cloves, chopped

2 chopped red peppers

1 tablespoon of jalapenos

2 teaspoons dried oregano

250 ml of vegetable stock

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ can of black eyed beans

½ can of black beans

½ can of haricot beans

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 can of tomatoes

To garnish:

1 tub of sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander, 2 sliced scallions and 2 tablespoons of grated white cheddar.


Pre heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic; sauté until for about 10 minutes. Lash in the chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir for another 2 minutes. Mix in beans, stock, jalapenos, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring it up to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens. It should take about 15 mins.

Ladle chili into bowls with rice and a heaped tablespoon of the sour cream mix on top.

Catch Jason Byrne’s brilliant live show in Vicar Street on either May 2nd or May 9th. This piece is also available to read in the far more respectable publication called The Irish Times.


21 July 2014


30 May 2014

Little J’s Slow Cooked Ribs

25 April 2014

Jason & Brenda Byrne’s Veggie Chilli

21 March 2014

Omar’s Jamaican Stew Chicken

21 February 2014


24 January 2014

The Mighty Stef’s Loobio Pollo