I’m under the impression that bacon and cabbage is not the most favoured combination for many an Irish person. I didn’t grow up on it, personally, but I think there are many folk who had unpleasant experiences with it as childers.
So when we see our stateside friends getting excited about bacon and cabbage around St Patrick’s Day, there can be reactions of “Bleurgh! Why would you ever want to eat that?”
But, guess what? Bacon and cabbage is totally yum. I found this recipe for Irish Coddled Pork with Cider and gave it a few tweaks to fit in with what I had in my fridge.
The recipe called for pork chops, which are really hard to get right. Even though I was really happy with this dinner, my chops were still on the dry side. I seared them on one side a hot pan on for 5 minutes, to give them a lovely brown colour. Then I steamed them on top of the vegetables for 20 minutes while this coddle-style stew when about its cooking business. They came out pretty tough, I won’t lie to you.
Does anybody know how to cook a perfect pork chop? Or is there a similar cut of pork that would work better in this dish? All suggestions on a postcard, please. Or in the comment box at the end of this post
This is a lovely and simple winter warmer. There ain’t much to it prep-wise, but it delivers buckets in the comfort department.
What you need for a Pork and Cabbage Hot Pot for 2
2 good quality pork chops
80g of bacon lardons (or 3 or 4 rashers, chopped)
4 medium sized carrots (or 2 large ones)
1/2 head of white cabbage
4 medium sized potatoes (or 2 large ones)
1 sprig of rosemary
150ml good quality Irish cider
150ml good quality chicken stock
Heat a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, over a high heat. Sear the pork chops on one side for 4 or 5 minutes, until starting to get a golden colour.
Meanwhile, finely slice and wash the leeks.
When the pork is getting golden on the one side, remove from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat down to a medium to high heat.
In the same pan, fry the chopped leek and bacon lardons for about 5 minutes. You can add a little more butter or oil if you think you need to, but you should be ok.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the carrots into bite-sized chunks. Chop and wash the cabbage. Peel the potatoes and slice them into bite-sized chunks, roughly the same size as the carrots.
When the leek and bacon have had their 5 minutes, add the carrots and cabbage to the mix and fry for a further 2 or 3 minutes. Now add the potato chunks, season well with salt and pepper. Finally, chop the needles from the rosemary sprig and add to the pot, mixing everything well.
Pour over the cider and the chicken stock. The veg will be almost covered, but not completely. Place the pork chops, un-seared side down, on top of the vegetables.
Cover the pot and let it simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. They should be al dente rather than soft. Take the pot off the heat.
Now you can make a bit of gravy. Carefully remove some of the liquid stock from the pot and place in a smaller pan. Add a spoonful of flour and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until bubbling, over a high heat. Now you can sieve it into a little gravy jug.
Divide the vegetables and pork over two plates, and serve with a drizzle of that lovely cider-based gravy. While listening to Danny Boy, of course.
I’m a bit of a nostalgic softie. I’ve been known to cry when watching re-runs of the original Riverdance performance at Eurovision 1994, Michael Flatley notwithstanding.
So, while I was cooking this dish, I found myself singing Arthur McBride. Below is a video of Paul Brady singing said song. I may be corny, but there ain’t nothing twee about this song. Amaze.