Boiled Bacon and Cabbage

This is a real Irish dish. Corned Beef & Cabbage is an American dish. Irish cooks would get into endless arguments about which cut of pork / bacon is best, but many seem to prefer the "collar of bacon", which is the equivalent of a cut from the North American "shoulder butt" or "picnic shoulder". You can also use pork tenderloin.

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3/4 cup course kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 gallon cold water
1 tablespoon pepper
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 pounds pork collar of bacon, shoulder butt, or tenderloin
1 head cabbage


Dissolve salt and sugar in the boiling water. Add it to the cold water; add pepper and stir to combine. Chill brine completely in the refrigerator before adding pork. In a large resealable plastic bag, place your pork, the pour in the brine and place in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours.

When you're ready to start cooking, remove the pork from the brine, rinse well and pat dry. Discard the brine.

Place the pork in a pot with a couple of bay leaves and a few peppercorns, cover with cold water and bring to the boil: then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.

Remove any scum that floats to the surface. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours (or 30 minutes per pound, whichever is greater).

Fifteen or twenty minutes before the bacon is scheduled to be done, cut the cabbage into quarters and add to the pot. Cook gently for no more than twenty minutes or until the cabbage is just tender (whichever comes first).

Lift the cabbage out and drain: remove the pork and set aside to rest for five minutes or so before slicing.


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