Boiled bacon, potatoes and cabbage is (was) the staple Irish meal. Well it was when I use to visit (go on holiday)my grandparents when I was so much younger than today. This is starting to sound like a Carpenters song. I have said it before. I think they ate bacon and cabbage every single day of the week. You use to see it served in pubs too. Its quite rare to see it in our part of Ireland these days.
Once I remember one red hot summers day and there was a whale of a salmon on my diner plate along with the potatoes and cabbage and the 'nice cup' of Barry's tea. This was before the EEC and every farm (yes every!) seemed to grow a field full of vegetables for themselves and the giant cow cabbages for the cattle and mangels for the horse.
My late father use to tell me how his parents would kill the pig at home and it would be salted and put in a wooden barrel in ye olde kitchen. There wasn't a need for a fridge in those days. We have two freezers full of pork and bacon at the moment.
Today I dug some potatoes and cut a cabbage and my wife boiled some of our newly butchered Tamworth cross pigs. You boil it on top of the Stanley range (solid fuel) for twenty minutes to the pound. So our was boiled for two and half hours. Twenty minutes before the cooking is finished. The boiled bacon is removed and the cabbage is thrown in the bacon water in the pan.
You can see our tea in the picture. Verdict the potatoes and cabbage was very - especially the salty bacon. We thought the rare breed cross meat is a bit fatty. Perhaps its because they are free range? Our butcher told us to stick to Large Whites in future. I think he is right. Do you prefer rare breeds to the Large Whites?
When you weigh up the cost of purchasing, feeding and butchering the pigs. Its a very costly exercise. Isn't that the story of any smallholding? But you can't beat homegrown and home cooked food. At least the freezers are full.
I am sure my self sufficient hero: John Seymour would of approved of our meal being produced on the smallholding. The supermarket bought carrots were nothing to write home about though. Still it was a pretty wholesome meal for a Monday night.
No microwaves pinged in the making of the above meal!
What traditional food do you not see much of these days?