Guinness braised cabbage and bacon

When I think about the meat I ate in Ireland, the first thing that comes to mind is bacon. Not the long thin strips of bacon common in the U.S. The bacon I think of is called rashers or back bacon. This is a slightly leaner cut from a different part of the pig. Rashers are usually cured but not smoked. They have a tender meaty texture, cook up far less greasy than strip bacon, and make a very satisfying addition to breakfast, lunch or dinner. My favorite way to prepare rashers is sauteed in a pan with mushrooms, bell peppers, and tomatoes then served over toast, for breakfast, or rice, for dinner.

On this side of the Atlantic, tracking down rashers proved to be a difficult mission. Until now. I have recently discovered Galway Traders, an Irish gift shop in Seattle, often has a few packages of frozen rashers in stock. There are also several websites that mail order the ingredients for a traditional Irish Breakfast. You can order a number of English or Irish style frozen meats for next day delivery in the U.S. from these sites. For me rashers are a treat that I am willing to make a special effort to cook at home once or twice a year. On the other rare occasions I use bacon in a recipe, I like to pick thick cut strips as lean as I can find them (not very lean).

For this recipe I made a trip into Seattle to buy my first package of rashers in seven years. It was really fun to turn such a humble dish into a special event. The rashers were perfect with the slow braised cabbage and onions. I loved they way the kick of spice played off the mellow richness of Guinness. The finished dish had a full spectrum of tastes I have not previously associated with cooked cabbage. Mr. Second Helpings gave it two thumbs up while The Little Helping worked very hard to pick the bits of meat out of his pile of cabbage. Unfortunately this dish won’t be winning any beauty contests but don’t be fooled by its appearance, this is not your grandma’s boiled cabbage.

Guinness Braised Cabbage and Bacon

This side dish is not quite Irish but certainly appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day and pairs great with potatoes.

Prep time 10 minutes; Cook time 1 hr. 15 minutes; Yields 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon or rashers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 tablespoon dry herbs de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 head (about 1 1/2 pounds) green or white cabbage, cored and thinly sliced — equal to around 4 cups
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Black Lager or Stout

Method

Brown the bacon in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. If possible, carefully remove all but a couple teaspoons of the bacon fat.

Add the sliced onions, cayenne, black pepper, sugar, and dried herbs. Stir frequently, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the cabbage and mix well (tongs are helpful to incorporate the cabbage). Continue to stir until the cabbage begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the beer. Stir to mix.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and serve warm.

Approximate Per Serving (with rashers): calories 125, fat 5.3 g, carbohydrate 11 g., protein 6 g., PP = 3

Approximate Per Serving (with thick cut bacon): calories 185, fat 10 g., carbohydrate 11 g, fiber 3 g, protein 10 g, PP = 4

Recipe slightly modified from Emeril’s Favorite Cabbage Recipe on foodnetwork.com.

More in Life

This beefy ex-cop has a delicate hobby: intricate paper-cut art

You can see Tom Sacco’s creations at the upcoming Everett Art Walk.

Slow-roasted vegetables make sumptuous sauce for pasta

Make the basic but good spaghetti with red sauce blissfully better with this recipe.

Mocking meatloaf: One man’s loaf is another man’s poison

Some don’t like it and some do. Here are six meatloaf recipes to try.

Roasted Brussels sprouts can be the apple of picky eater’s eye

Toasted sesame seeds and diced apple add flavors that compliment the sprouts’ earthiness.

Arlington eagle fest wants your nature-themed artwork, haiku

Local residents of an artistic bent are invited to submit… Continue reading

Hau Tran sings as Vietnamese seniors eat at Homage’s Center for Healthy Living on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 in Lynnwood, Wa. Each weekday the center offers its room for various cultures to get together for activities and lunch while speaking their native languages. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Seniors of four cultures gather for food, fitness and fun

Homage’s Center for Healthy Living offers a venue for programs in the seniors’ native languages.

Ethnic communities eagerly await Lunar New Year on Feb. 16

By Homage Senior Services Ethnic communities around the world are getting eager… Continue reading

Kia Rio subcompact takes a classy step up in 2018

A new design, roomier cabin, and better fuel economy are among the improvements on the 2018 Kia Rio.

What’s new for 2018 for travelers in Scandinavia

Sweden, Norway and Finland have embarked on many urban, cultural and transit projects.

Most Read