Bacon and cabbage is a dish traditionally associated with Ireland. The dish consists of unsliced bacon boiled with cabbage and potatoes. Sometimes other vegetables such as turnips, onions and carrots are also added. Smoked bacon is sometimes used.
Historically, this dish was common fare in Irish homes as the ingredients were readily available as many families grew their own vegetables and reared their own pigs. It was considered nourishing and satisfying. The dish continues to be a very common meal in Ireland.
Bacon and Cabbage
- 1 kg streaky bacon
- 1 fresh cabbage
- 1 onion
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- 8-10 cloves
- Soak the bacon in cold water for 12 hours. Place in saucepan and cover well with fresh cold water. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently for 1½ hours. You know it is cooked when the bone slides out easily. Leave the bacon in the water to set.
- Cut cabbage into quarters wash well and remove the tough stalks. Place cabbage into a pan of boiling water. <em>(If you place a skinned onion in the pan as well it will counteract the smell of the cabbage)</em> boil fast for 5 minutes. Add 2-3 cupfuls of the water that you boiled the bacon in. this will salt the cabbage and give it a lovely bacon flavour. Cook until cabbage is tender. Drain well and season with black pepper.
- Skin the bacon and cover with the breadcrumbs and stud with the cloves. Brown in the oven and serve sliced on a bed of cabbage. Serve with potatoes boiled in their skins.