Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes is a wonderful mix of flavors and textures that is perfect on its own or as a side dish with pork or beef.
Over the past few months I’ve worked very hard to improve my blog content and photography, and I’ve made big strides in that area. However, I’m still really struggling to increase my readership and reach. They have both improved, but not even close to the level I want. Blogging is very hard work, and is currently a part-time hobby. So that means fitting blog work and promotion around my full-time job. I’ve joined numerous Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter groups, all to connect with other bloggers and grow mine at the same time.
I recently joined a very active food blogger Facebook group, and one of the things that drew me in is their monthly recipe roundups. I did my own weekly recipe roundups last year, but it was very time consuming and didn’t give me the return I wanted. Days after joining the group I learned that the next roundup, a St. Patty’s Day theme, was due in a week. I jumped right in, and committed to the roundup. Then realized that I didn’t have a single recipe that would work. I got on Pinterest for some inspiration, and the first thing that caught my eye was Irish nachos. But I don’t have a cast-iron skillet, and realized it would be more labor-intensive than I had time for on a weekday.
Next, I found numerous recipes for Colcannon, a combination of mashed potatoes and cabbage. Crazy as it sounds, I’ve never made mashed potatoes. And I don’t have a potato masher. So that recipe went down the tubes as well. Then I remembered a fried cabbage recipe I used to make a few years ago as a side dish. It’s okay, but doesn’t really have a lot of oomph. And for my first roundup recipe, I need lots of oomph! So I figured it would be fun to do a play on colcannon, but use potato pieces rather than mashed. Many Irish dishes use corned beef, but I’m not a huge fan of it. And I saw that other recipes substitute bacon. I’ve never met a piece of bacon I didn’t like. That’s how Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes was born
Oh my gosh this Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes is so delicious. The flavors all work well together, and I love the contrast in textures. I normally only use regular-cut bacon, but decided to try thick-cut bacon this time. What a difference it makes. Thick-cut bacon has more bite, more texture, and more flavor than regular bacon. I rarely cook with bacon, so it’s a splurge I’m willing to make.
I use baby red potatoes for this Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes, but baby yukon gold or full sized red or gold potatoes would work just as well. Regardless of what potatoes you use, keep the skin on, because the skin contains a lot of nutrients and the skin gets nice and crispy. The key is to cut the potatoes so they are all about the same size, and therefore cook evenly. A few years ago I discovered a recipe for oven fried potatoes, and loved it. It is a little time-consuming, but it results in a potato that’s crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. One of these days I’ll get around to writing a post about it, but in the meantime, it works fabulously in this Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes.
I do cook the cabbage in the bacon drippings, but I only use a fraction of the drippings. If you want a more rich dish, use all the drippings. It’s really your choice. I may have gone a little overboard on the fresh black pepper, especially since I also added cayenne pepper while the cabbage cooked. But I love the bite that the pepper adds. You have full control over the heat in this dish.
When I agreed to do this first round-up, and then couldn’t find a recipe, I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew. I am so glad that I decided to forge through with this Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes, because it is really delicious. I ate it as a meal, but it would also go really well with pork chops or a pot roast. Another great option would be for a potluck or picnic. This Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes will definitely be a staple in my meal rotation.
- Add just enough oil to a baking pan to cover the bottom of pan. Turn oven to 400 degrees, and immediately put pan into oven so oil heats at the same time
- Clean and cut potatoes. Do not remove the skin. You want all potatoes to be about the same size, so cut in half or quarters, as needed.
- Add potatoes to a pot of cold, lightly salted water. Bring water to boil, and let par-cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain water. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, score the potato flesh with a fork. Do not score the skin.
- When oven is ready, add potatoes to pan. Cook, turning every 7-10 minutes, until potatoes are browned on all sides. Will take 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Remove and drain on paper towels
- Add bacon to large skillet over medium heat, and cook until done to your preference. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. When bacon is cool, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Discard excess bacon drippings. The amount you discard is up to you. I discard all but about 1 teaspoon.
- Add onion to skillet and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes
- Add cabbage, and season with salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder
- After a few minutes, check cabbage. You may need to add a little water to help the cabbage cook down. Saute lightly, until cabbage is soft enough for your liking. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes and bacon to cabbage mixture, and stir to combine. Add a little more black pepper, if desired. Portion into bowls and serve