Irish Cook

Bacon and Cabbage For St. Patrick’s Day

 baconandcabbageBacon and Cabbage

Serves 4–6

Bacon and Cabbage is one of Ireland’s most traditional dishes and is the preferred meal for St. Patrick’s Day. Boiled potatoes and carrots, which can be cooked with the cabbage or in separate saucepans, are the usual accompaniments, along with wholegrain mustard or parsley sauce.

4 lb. boiling bacon, such as Tommy Moloney’s brand

2 medium heads green cabbage, quartered

Boiled carrots for serving


1. Put the bacon in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water slowly to a boil, cover, and then reduce the heat and simmer, skimming the water occasionally to remove foam, for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.

2. Add the cabbage and cook for 12–15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender (do not overcook).

3. Remove the bacon from the pot and cover with foil to keep warm. (Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the cooking liquid). Drain the cabbage over a bowl and return to pot to keep warm.

4. To serve, slice the meat and serve with the cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and sauce.


Wholegrain Mustard Sauce

Makes about 2 cups


2 tbsp. salted butter

1 small shallot, chopped

2 tsp. wholegrain mustard

2/3 cup dry white wine

1 1/4 cups reserved cooking liquid

1 1/4 cups half and half

Freshly ground pepper to taste


1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook for 3–5 minutes or until soft but not browned. Stir in the mustard and wine and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add the reserved cooking liquid and cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the half-and-half and cook for 5 minutes longer or until the sauce is thickened. Season with pepper.


Parsley Sauce

Makes about 2 cups


4 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid

1 1/4 cups hot milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Gradually stir in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until blended.

2. Slowly stir in the cooking liquid, and then the milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley and cook, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes more, or until the sauce is smooth.



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