Total Time
1hr 54mins
Prep 35 mins
Cook 1 hr 19 mins

Entered for ZWT, a traditional Irish dish before Irish-Americans introduced Ireland to corned beef. Found posted by Katherine on, which has a charming essay on the evolution of this dish. However, the traditional bacon is a loin cut, very different from American bacon. Irish Back Bacon Bacon can be ordered online in the U.S. from Serve with mashed potato or Champ. Parsley sauce or mustard sauce goes well with this.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place the meat in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil.
  2. Bring to the boil. If a white scum (it’s salt) rises to the top, drain off the water, replace with cold water and bring to the boil again. Repeat until there is no scum. Then add the onions, carrots, and celery and simmer for 15 minutes per pound plus 15 minutes over.
  3. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the water, dry it lightly with some kitchen towels. Remove the thick fat layer unless you prefer it on throughout. Retain a cupful of the cooking water – discard the vegetables, they were there for flavor and have done their job.
  4. Mix together the honey, mustard and ground cloves and smear it all over the bacon. Leave it, covered, to ‘rest’ and let the honey mixture soak in for about 20-30 minutes – or several hours or even overnight if that suits you better.
  5. Before serving, put the bacon into a moderately hot oven, about 400ºF (200ºC/Gas Mark 6) for about 20-30 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to prepare the cabbage.
  7. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into four and remove the stalk. Then finely shred it.
  8. Put half a cupful of the bacon water in a saucepan, add the butter and bring to the boil. Then add the cabbage and stir it constantly until it wilts and becomes slightly soft. It will take about 5 minutes to cook. The water and butter will disappear – partly coating the cabbage, partly steaming away – so you will not need to drain it at all.