Bacon and Cabbage

While Irish cuisine may not have the punchiest of flavours or exotic ingredients and spices… there is certainly something to be said about a dish that is purely warm, nourishing comfort. With a simple list of ingredients (this dish was common given that many families used to grow their own crops and rear farm animals), this 15-minute dish is a fantastic accompaniment to larger roasts, or eaten on its own (perhaps with a piece of toast).

Though traditionally served with whole pieces of back bacon, I chose to cook the bacon down in with the vegetables to allow their flavours to marry together better. I also chose to use Napa cabbage (which is a departure from the usual green or savoy cabbages common in Ireland) – due to its lighter texture and sweeter flavour. With this, the dish cooks much faster and maintains its integrity… but you can use any cabbage you’d like, really – you can even use quartered Brussels sprouts. Once it’s cooked down, this can also serve as a delicious filling in a flaky pastry. It takes no time to make, so it’s a great weeknight meal. Enjoy!


• 4–5 rashers applewood smoked bacon, chopped

• 1 medium onion, diced

• 1 head Napa (or Savoy) cabbage, sliced into shreds

• ¼ cup hot water or chicken broth

• Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Heat up a pan on medium and add the bacon, letting the fat render out for approximately 5 minutes. Drain half of this oil.

2. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned, approximately 3–4 minutes.

3. Add in the cabbage and immediately pour over the hot water or broth.

4. Put a lid on the pan for 2 minutes or so, just to start the wilting process.

5. After taking the lid off, stir all the ingredients to distribute the bacon and cabbage evenly.

6. Season to taste and serve immediately as a side or on its own.


Note: If you’re using it as a pastry filling, ensure that the mixture is as dry as possibly so as not to leave the crust soggy.