A Meal Fit for a Family on St. Patrick’s Day
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A Meal Fit for a Family on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with many things. From parades to parties at the local pub, March 17th is a day enjoyed by Irish and non-Irish alike. But St. Patrick’s Day is also a time to gather with family, and the following recipe for “Bacon and Cabbage” from Margaret M. Johnson’s “The Irish Pub Cookbook” (Chronicle Books) is sure to please your family as you gather to celebrate St. Patrick this year.

Bacon and Cabbage
Serves 4 to 6
3 pounds Irish boiling bacon
1 small head cabbage, cored and quartered
Parsley Sauce or Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce for serving (see below)
Boiled potatoes for serving

1. Put the bacon in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water slowly to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, skimming the water occasionally to remove the foam, for 11⁄2 hours (about 30 minutes per pound), or until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork.

2. About 20 minutes before the bacon is cooked, add the cabbage. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender, but not soggy. Transfer the bacon to a serving dish, and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Drain the cabbage, reserving 1⁄4 cup of the cooking liquid for the Parsley sauce or 11⁄2 cups for the Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce, and transfer to a serving dish.

3. To serve, slice the meat and serve it with the cabbage, potatoes and sauce.

Parsley Sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup bacon cooking liquid
11⁄4 cups hot milk
1⁄2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Gradually stir in the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until blended. Slowly stir in the cooking liquid, then the milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until the sauce is smooth. Serve warm.

Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce
Makes About 2 Cups

2 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2⁄3 cup dry white wine
1 1⁄4 cups bacon cooking liquid, plus more as needed
1 1⁄4 cups half-and-half, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the mustard and wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cooking liquid and half-and-half and cook, whisking constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has a creamy consistency. Add more boiling liquid or half-and-half, if needed, to make a smooth sauce.

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