Bacon and Cabbage

Choice 2
Bacon and Cabbage

Well I don’t know what took me, I mean the weather was beautiful and all, maybe it was the long walk in Mullaghmeen forest with Doggie Woggie that gave me the Munchies, or the fact that Ireland was playing Italy, for an ultimate football showdown in France that evening, but I started to develop some serious cravings for a good auld bacon and cabbage… I know, I know, it is one of them self satirical and self derision thing the Irish enjoy so much. The funny part is, Brittany has very similar dishes; not one, but several! ( some are frankly gross, like that one rolled in bread dough and then boiled in a cloth, from an Island where I used to work). Some of France’s most famous traditional dishes, like Choucroute, Potée or even Garbure are just different versions of Bacon and Cabbage… Here is the way I make mine…

DSC02664
Doggie Woggie happy out
DSC00001
Mullaghmeen Forest – Meath/ Westmeath

First, I went to see the Floods’ Brothers in Oldcastle and got about 1.6kg (3 lbs) of rolled bacon loin. I placed it in cold water with some juniper berries and brought it to the first boil. I then drained the water and repeated the same operation a second time; this will help to remove the salt inside… Keep the water of the second batch.

Choice 6
Loin of Bacon

Place the bacon on a tray with olive oil and cut a bulb of garlic at the base, that I will use in the mash potatoes…

Choice 8
Baking bacon

I roasted the bacon for about 1 hour at 200c, and removed the bulb of garlic 1/2 an hour before. I peeled and chopped some nice new Irish potatoes, boiled them until soft, drained them and put them in a pot with loads of black pepper, a good lump of butter and a bit of milk for a manageable texture. I plucked the roasted garlic cloves out and mashed the whole lot together until smooth…

Choice 10
Roasted garlic mash

I covered the bacon with honey and a bit of the water from where it simmered earlier and started to glaze it, repeat the operation while roasting for another 30 minutes…

Choice 12
Glaze the bacon

While this finishes roasting, I cut a large sweet cabbage in thin strips; I bring the water where it cooked earlier back to the boil and add a glass of beef stock in it. I cook them for just a few minutes so they keep a nice texture, that is the way I like it ( but not crunchy).

Choice 13
Sweet cabbage

For the sauce, I make a béchamel and used a medley of fresh herbs from the veg garden, thyme, mint, chives, fennel, parsley. I start by melting some butter in a pan and on low heat, add a handful of flour to it, and keep stirring while adding some milk. Once the texture is nice and smooth, I add a little splash of white wine in it, and the chopped herbs…

Choice 14
Mixed herbs from the garden
Choice 15
Chop-chop

Ready to serve, I couldn’t wait… Just in time to watch the match, and see if the legendary “Luck of the Irish” will show its face tonight, you just never know do you?

Choice 3
Bacon and Cabbage

Close up

Choice 4
Close up

There were a few signs in the forest…

Choice 5
A sign?

Enjoy!

Keep Well and Eat Happy!

Slán tamall

Franck

 

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