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Bacon and cabbage

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Bacon and cabbage is a dish traditionally associated with Ireland. The dish consists of unsliced back bacon boiled with cabbage and potatoes. Sometimes other vegetables such as turnips, onions and carrots are also added. Smoked bacon is sometimes used. Historically, this dish was common fare in Irish homes as the ingredients were readily available as many families grew their own vegetables and reared their own pigs. It was considered nourishing and satisfying. The dish continues to be a very common meal in Ireland.

The dish is served with the bacon sliced, and with some of the boiling juices added. Another common accompaniment to the dish is white sauce which generally consists of flour, butter, milk and a herb of some sort (often parsley).

The bacon used for the meal can vary somewhat depending on individual preference. Usually Back Bacon is used for the recipe, but other cuts of bacon are sometimes preferred. However, the bacon used is almost always cured. The traditional curing process is a long process which involves storing the bacon in salt, however, in modern times, mass-produced bacon is cured using brine which is less frequently injected into the meat to speed-up the process. The bacon can also be smoked which adds a depth of flavour which many people prefer. In Ireland, one can also purchase what is known as Home-Cured or Hard-Cured Bacon which is Bacon cured over a long period and then stored for another long spell, wrapped in paper. This makes the bacon very salty, hard in texture and yellowish in colour.

Another similiar meal, with a breaded pork chop on mashed potatoes and cabbage, is popular in some countries.

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