Boiled Bacon with Mustard Sauce
This stick-to-the-ribs type Irish recipe is perfect for those cooler months when you want something hearty and warming in the evening. Although you can use unsalted bacon, the traditional meat of choice is the smoked kind. We are cooking carrots and cabbage with the bacon (leave these out if you prefer) and making mashed potatoes on the side, along with a flavourful parsley and mustard sauce. Not only does the cooked bacon freeze, but there is never any waste with this recipe because you can use leftovers in sandwiches the following day, or just serve them with fried egg, chips (fries) and pickles.
You will need a large pot to make this, since the bacon and vegetables are cooked together in there with fresh herbs. When the bacon and vegetables are almost done, you can start the mashed potatoes. Mash butter into them, and perhaps some cream or milk too, depending on the consistency you prefer. The sauce is made with stock (from the bacon), cream, mustard and parsley, and it complements the meat just perfectly.
This makes a meal for 6 people, but because you can use or freeze the leftovers, you can make the full amount. If you are only feeding 3 people though, it is easy enough to halve the recipe. Else simply reduce the amount of mashed potatoes, since the bacon, vegetables and sauce will keep for several days and can be served cold or gently warmed back up for another taste of this delicious Irish dish.
- 3 lbs (1.3 kgs) smoked bacon (in one piece)
- Large bunch of fresh parsley, thyme and bay leaves tied together with string
- 1 peeled yellow onion, studded with 6 cloves
- 12 peeled baby carrots
- 2 trimmed pointed cabbages, each in 6 wedges
- 10 chopped, peeled potatoes
- Salt, to taste
- Butter, as needed
- Milk or cream, as needed (optional)
- 5 fl oz (150 ml) stock, from cooking the bacon
- 5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream (heavy cream)
- 3 tablespoons English mustard
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Put the bacon in a big pot with the herbs and onion.
- Cover with water to cover by an inch (2½ cm).
- Bring to a simmer then cook for 45 minutes.
- You might need to top it up with water during cooking.
- Add the carrots and cook for 15 minutes.
- Ladle 5 fl oz (150 ml) of stock into a smaller pan and set aside.
- Add the cabbage wedges to the pot.
- Cook for a further 12 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
- Meanwhile boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, then drain.
- Mash with the butter until creamy.
- You might want to add a little cream or milk too.
- Now make the sauce.
- Pour the cream into the reserved stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Whisk in the parsley and mustard.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
- Take the bacon out of the stock and carve it into thick slices.
- Serve with the mashed potatoes, vegetables and a little stock.
- Serve the mustard sauce on the side.
Boiled bacon is so easy to make. The Irish know how to make hearty, warming, stick-to-the-ribs type food and this boiled bacon recipe served with mashed potatoes and homemade parsley and mustard sauce is sure to hit the spot. Not only can you consider this for St Patrick’s Day if you are not in the mood for corned beef, but it is especially good during the cooler months when you get home cold from work and just want to line your stomach with something hot. Consider following up with a baked or steamed sweet pudding with plenty of custard.
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