Traditional Bacon and Cabbage With Mustard Sauce
3 pounds loin of bacon (see Note)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 leeks, white part only, washed and sliced
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 pounds Savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
2 pounds boiling potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
3/4 cup half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Put bacon in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover. Add the
carrot, celery, leeks and peppercorns. Bring water to a boil, cover,
then reduce heat to simmer. Cook bacon, skimming water occasionally to
remove foam, for 1 1/2 hours (30 minutes per pound) or until fork
About 20 minutes before the bacon is cooked, add the cabbage. Cook the
cabbage for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
Do not overcook.
Remove bacon from the cooking liquid, transfer it to a serving dish,
cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
Drain the cabbage and keep warm. Reserve the cooking liquid.
Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 to 20
minutes, or until tender.
Drain and keep warm.
To make the Mustard Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt
the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Whisk in 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, half-and-half and salt
and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking constantly, for 3
to 4 minutes, or until smooth.
To serve, divide the cabbage onto 6 serving plates.
Slice the bacon and arrange the slices on top of the cabbage.
Spoon the sauce around the plate.
Serve with the potatoes.
Note: Genuine Irish bacon is made from lean pork loin and cured in a
specially mixed brine.
You can order it from www. irishgrub.com, a California-based company
that processes 2,000 to 3,000 pounds a week.
Otherwise, substitute boneless pork butt or pork shoulder.