There's a classic bit of Irish cookery called "bacon and cabbage". It's not bacon like we're used to in the States; in fact, it's not even the lovely, smokey or streaky Irish bacon you get in a full Irish breakfast. It's a chunk of raw pork, boiled in water with a quartered head of cabbage. That's it. Nary a grain of salt or pepper. Suffice to say it's not my favorite method of pork preparation.
However, you can still make a lovely bacon and cabbage dish that's more of a side dish than a main meal, simply by rethinking the preparation methods. A little pan-frying, some breakfasty Irish bacon, some onion and garlic, and we're grand.
Heat a large skillet, add the olive oil, and when hot add the onions and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add teh garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- 1 pound (450g) shredded cabbage (green or red)
- 4 ounces (112g) Irish bacon rashers, chopped (plain, smoky or streaky)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Stir in the shredded cabbage; continue to cook and stir until the cabbage starts to wilt. Stir occasionally until it's evenly cooked, about 10 minutes. It should still be a bit crisp, but if you prefer it softer cover the pan so that it'll steam some. Taste and check for seasonings, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
YIELD: About 4 servings.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)