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6 Secret Rugby Recipes - Ireland (Part 5/6)

11:42 am

oyster recipe from Ireland

It’s time for part five of our six part series on forgotten recipes from the six rugby nations. In this post, we turn our attention to the Irish and find a peculiar lamb and oyster recipe that has been hidden away on the dusty shelves of Ireland’s national library since the mid-nineteenth century. The very suggestion of oyster and lamb sausages may have you all recoiling in horror, but take two minutes and hear us out.

Recipe: Lamb and Oyster Sausages

It may seem more than a little unusual to stuff common sausages with something as indulgent as oysters, but this luxury ingredient was not always considered such a delicacy. In the mid-nineteenth century, wild oysters were plentiful around the coast of Ireland and cooks would use them in the same way modern cooks use anchovies today.

This interesting oyster recipe is found in a rare, early to mid-nineteenth century cookbook containing ‘Cooking Recipes and Medicinal Cures’ by Mary Ponsonby. Handwritten, the book can be found in the National Library of Ireland, spattered with sauces and full of fascinating recipes from forgotten days. On one of her recipes, Ponsonby notes that it is 'a powerful remedy' for scurvy. This note is annotated by a second hand which has scribbled ‘if this does not answer try a bullet in the brain’.
Image sourced from NLI blog.

Fortunately, our recipe calls for no such measures. We’ve stuck to the original as closely as possible with a quick and easy three part method, throwing in all the equipment you’ll need for you to have a go yourselves.

Ingredients Equipment
400g lamb Meat tenderiser
400g suet Sharp cook's knife
Dozen oysters Non-stick frying pan
Salt, pepper & allspice

  1. Take 400g of lamb and pound together with the suet using your meat tenderiser until very fine. Season this mixture generously with salt, pepper and allspice.
  2. Shuck your fresh oysters, chop them into small chunks and add them to the dry mixture of lamb and suet with all of the oyster liquor to boot.
  3. Mix together and form into sausages before dusting with flour.In your non-stick pan, fry them up using plenty of butter and there you have a forgotten nineteenth century Irish supper in your very own kitchen.

Other recipes from our six part series:
England's forgotten recipe: old fashioned Eccles cakes
Italy's forgotten recipe: Pollo Alla Cacciatore
Wales' forgotten recipe: Snowdonia pudding
France's forgotten recipe: a take on onion soup


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