Bacon and cabbage is a dish traditionally associated with Ireland. It consists of bacon slices cooked with cabbage and potatoes. Smoked bacon is sometimes used.
Cabbage with bacon is served with the sliced meat and a little cooking juice. It is often accompanied by béchamel sauce, made with flour, butter and milk, sometimes seasoned (often with parsley).
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In the past, this dish was common in Irish homes, as many families growing their own vegetables and raising their own pigs had the ingredients at their disposal. It was considered both nutritious and tasty. Cabbage with bacon remains a popular meal in Ireland.
It is created by boiling shoulder or collar bacon in a saucepan, and 20 minutes before the bacon is finished cooking, chopped cabbage is added to the water. It is then sometimes covered with parsley sauce or mustard sauce made from some of the used cooking liquid.
Corned beef cabbage (United States)
In the mid-19th century, Irish immigrants to the United States began replacing bacon with corned beef in the preparation of the dish, creating corned beef and cabbage. Like the original, it sometimes includes extra vegetables (such as carrots and potatoes); therefore, it also resembles the New England boiled supper, which almost always contains a mixture of root vegetables, boiled meat and cabbage.
Corned beef cabbage remains a popular dish in some parts of the United States, and is often the dish of choice on St. Patrick’s Day.
Jiggs Dinner (Newfoundland and Labrador)
On the island of Newfoundland, where the Irish and English were a significant part of the founding settlers, the contribution of boiled English beef resulted in a dish of boiled salted beef called “Jiggs supper”.