One of the most enduring dishes to come out of Ireland, colcannon is a winning combination of cabbage, mashed potatoes, and scallions. This dish is a particularly excellent addition to your menu because you can serve it long after St. Patrick’s Day has passed. For a gourmet spin, considering swapping in savoy cabbage and adding roasted garlic or leeks.
Fried Cabbage and Bacon
Before your patrons paint the town green, they’ll need a hearty breakfast to get them started and fried cabbage and bacon is just the man for the job. Equal parts flavorful and filling, this dish is easy to make and only uses a few ingredients. To prepare, cook your bacon first and add diced onions/shredded cabbage to the pan afterwards!
- Fun Fact: Although most people associate corned beef with cabbage, Irish chefs historically paired pork with cabbage because it was cheaper and easier to source.
Cabbage is flexible to most cooking methods but there are a few techniques that sit above the rest. Steamed cabbage is one of our favorites because it’s quick, low maintenance, and allows you to focus on other things in the kitchen. Best of all, you can cook large quantities at once so you won’t have to be stressed about running out during the St. Patrick’s Day rush!
- Pro Tip: Prep your cabbage like a pro with these tips and tricks.
Bubble And Squeak
Despite the absolutely adorable name, this dish is a serious part of the Irish breakfast pantheon. Rumored to get its name from the squeaking sound the dish makes during the cooking process, Bubble and Squeak is essentially a breakfast casserole made of cabbage, onion, carrots, mashed potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. There are a few different variants you can play with too; try adding bacon or topping with a fried egg for a more filling plate.
Bacon and Cabbage Soup
If you’re a fan of Colorful Plates, you know that we’re fond of hearty soups and this one is no exception. Importantly, bacon and cabbage soup uses a different type of bacon known as “Irish bacon” which is cut for the back of a pig rather than the belly, making it closer to Canadian bacon than American bacon. If you can’t get your hands on Irish bacon, you can swap in pancetta for a similar flavor profile and texture. Seasoning wise, stick with a simple mixture of salt and pepper to let the inherent flavor of your other ingredients shine.
Stateside, coleslaw is the most popular cabbage dish of them all. Even though coleslaw is an American invention, that doesn’t mean you can’t create an Irish spin. Chefs throughout Ireland prefer to make a creamier sauce (rather than the vinegar based one in the US) by mixing together ingredients like sour cream, heavy cream, or mayo. For best results, make sure to finely shred your cabbage before mixing.