Bacon, With a Bit O’ Blarney

Zingerman’s 4th Annual Camp Bacon is coming soon and to help get everyone prepared, we’re sharing tasty excerpts and recipes from Ari’s book, Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon

Irish Bacon and Cabbage

As you’ve already learned, in Ireland it’s far more typical to cook bacon with cabbage than corned beef. I’d serve the dish with a little mustard and parsley sauce and maybe some hot mashed potatoes.


  • For the bacon and cabbage:
  • 2 pounds Irish bacon (brined pork loin, not smoked), in a single chunk
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
  • 2 leeks, washed well and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon whole Tellicherry black peppercorns
  • 1 large head green cabbage, core removed, cut into 6 pieces
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper to tastemustard-187U


For mustard and parsley sauces:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup bacon stock (reserved from cooking the bacon)
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped, rinsed and squeezed dry
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper to taste



  1. 1. Place bacon in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover. Bring to a rapid boil, then immediately drain and rinse. Return the bacon to the pot with fresh cold water to cover again. Place on high heat, adding the carrot, celery, leeks, onion, thyme and peppercorns. Add more water if needed to just cover the bacon and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover pan loosely, allowing steam to escape, and cook for 1½ to 2 hours. The bacon should be fork tender.
  2. 2. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. Strain the stock and set it aside. Discard the cooked vegetables and return the stock to the pot, reserving the ¾ cup for making the mustard and parsley sauces. Return the bacon to the pot. Add the cabbage, placing the pieces around the sides. Cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, until cabbage is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While the cabbage is cooking, prepare the mustard and parsley sauces:

  1. 1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Sift flour directly into the butter, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens and a roux forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the reserved stock, a bit at a time, whisking with each addition until thickened. Add milk a little at a time, stirring steadily, until incorporated. Split the resulting béchamel evenly into two serving bowls. Whisk the parsley into one bowl and the mustard into the other. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. 2. When the cabbage is tender and the sauces are ready to serve, remove the bacon from the pot. Cut into medium-thick slices. Ladle the cabbage into warm serving bowls along with the sliced bacon.

Serves 4 as a main course


see you at camp!