Bacon and Cabbage with Champ and Parsley Sauce

Try some traditional Irish cooking with Norah Brown's hearty boiled bacon, perfectly accompanied by cabbage and creamy sauce
Bacon and Cabbage with Champ and Parsley Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the cabbage

  • 1/2 large Savoy cabbage
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100 g brown mushrooms, finely chopped

For the bacon

  • 1x900 g quick-cookjoint of bacon
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1/2 onion, studded with 6 cloves
  • 1 carrot, quartered

For the honey glaze

  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 15 g butter

For the parsley sauce

  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley

For the carrots

  • 1 large carrot, cut into batons
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 chives, blanched and cooled

For the champ

  • 75 ml single cream
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered


1. For the bacon: place the bacon joint in a large pan with the bouquet garni, onion and carrot. Cover with boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside. Reserve the water.

2. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

3. For the honey glaze: combine all the glaze ingredients and brush over the joint. Place in a roasting tin or baking dish and bake in for 10 minutes until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the joint and cover the slices with foil. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking.

4. For the cabbage: butter 4 ramekin dishes.

5. Bring the bacon joint liquid to the boil. Remove the ribs from the green cabbage leaves (leaving 2 halves of the cabbage leaf) and blanch in the boiling bacon water for 1 minute. Remove, cool and pat dry with kitchen paper. Line the ramekins with the cabbage leaves, making sure you leave a good overhang.

6. Finely shred the white part of the cabbage, blanch in the boiling bacon water, strain and keep warm.

7. Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the onions and mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Season with a little freshly ground black pepper - but no salt. Add the white cabbage and cook for 1-2 minutes.

8. Spoon the mixture into the cabbage-lined ramekins. Fold over the overhanging cabbage leaves. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin filled with boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins to warm them through.

9. For the parsley sauce: melt the butter in a heavy-based pan. Add the flour then cook over a low heat, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the milk and whisk until boiling. Whisk in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

10. For the carrots: cook the carrot batons with the sugar in boiling water for 6-7 minutes. Strain and tie up in neat bundles using the chives and keep warm.

11. For the champ: bring the cream to the boill with the spring onions and simmer for a few minutes. Set aside.

12. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until soft. Strain the potatoes and dry out over a gentle heat before mashing. Add the spring onion mixture and beat well.

13. To serve: place the ham slices down the centre of an oval platter. Turn out the ramekins (seam side down) on one side and place the carrots on the other side. Place two large spoonfuls of champ at each end and pour the parsley sauce down the middle of the ham.

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