Bacon and cabbage
is a dish traditionally associated with Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...
. The dish consists of unsliced back bacon
Back bacon is bacon prepared from centre-cut boneless pork loin. The name refers to the cut of meat, which is from the back, and distinguishes it from other bacon made from pork belly or other cuts. Unlike other bacon, back bacon is not brined, cured, boiled, or smoked...
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.
The dish is served with the bacon sliced, and with some of the boiling juices added. Another common accompaniment to the dish is white sauce which generally consists of flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...
, butter, milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...
and a herb of some sort (often parsley
Parsley is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region , naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice and a vegetable.- Description :Garden parsley is a bright green hairless biennial herbaceous plant in temperate...
The bacon used for the meal can vary somewhat depending on individual preference. Usually Back Bacon is used for the recipe, but other cuts of bacon are sometimes preferred. However, the bacon used is almost always cured. The traditional curing process is a long process which involves storing the bacon in salt, however, in modern times, mass-produced bacon is cured using brine
Brine is water, saturated or nearly saturated with salt .Brine is used to preserve vegetables, fruit, fish, and meat, in a process known as brining . Brine is also commonly used to age Halloumi and Feta cheeses, or for pickling foodstuffs, as a means of preserving them...
which is less frequently injected into the meat to speed-up the process. The bacon can also be smoked which adds a depth of flavour which many people prefer. In Ireland, one can also purchase what is known as Home-Cured
Bacon which is Bacon cured over a long period and then stored for another long spell, wrapped in paper. This makes the bacon very salty, hard in texture and yellowish in colour.
Another similar meal, with a breaded pork chop on mashed potatoes and cabbage, is popular in some countries.
- Corned beef and cabbage a closely related Irish-American traditional dish.