This is possibly the most Irish of all dinners, and definitely one to opt for instead of corned beef and cabbage (which is scarcely known within the confines of Ireland itself).  This particular recipe amends the tradition ever so slightly with the mustard sauce – but it is definitely worth the extra effort involved  and much better then just scooping mustard out of a jar!


  • 1½ kg (3 lbs) loin of bacon (whole, not sliced)
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns

For the topping:

  • 1 tablesp. Irish or wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tablesp. oven-dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ tablesp. brown sugar
  • Knob of butter

For the Mustard Sauce:

  • 50g (2 oz) butter
  • 25g (1 oz) flour
  • 1 tablesp. mustard
  • 250ml (½ pt) mixture cooking liquid and cream (½ & ½)
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) cabbage, finely sliced

To Cook

Place the joint in a large saucepan. Add chopped vegetables and peppercorns. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for approx. 20 minutes per ½ kg (1 lb).

Set oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F). Remove the joint from the saucepan. Reserve liquid.

Remove the rind and score the fat. Place the joint on a roasting dish. Spread with mustard and bread-crumbs, sugar and a knob of butter. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

To Make the Sauce
Melt the butter, add the flour and mustard. Cook for a minute or two. Whisk in the cooking liquid and cream. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning. The sauce should have the consistency of thin cream. Keep warm.

To Cook the Cabbage
In another saucepan cook the cabbage lightly with some of the cooking liquid. Drain well and toss in butter. Season to taste.

Slice the bacon and serve on the bed of cabbage, a little of the mustard sauce and, of course, floury potatoes.

Find more recipes in The Wild Geese Irish Kitchen

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