Sunday, May 8, 2011

Boiled Ham and Cabbage with Parsley Sauce

This hearty dish is based on traditional Irish cooking.

Traditionally, they simply boil ham (bacon) and cabbage in hot water and serve with parsley sauce cooked using the water used to boil the ham and cabbage.

I incorporated a French cooking method to the traditional recipe which makes the dish more elegant and even suitable for entertaining guests.

Ingredients for 2 people
1 stick celery
1 spring parsley
1 spring thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bone-in ham steak, cut into 4 pieces
1 small cabbage, shredded
1 clove garlic, sliced
3 and 1/3 cups blandly made chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon butter
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 rounded teaspoon all-purpose flour
about 1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
MSG to taste (opitional)
2 to 3 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

To make a bouquet garni, tie the celery, parsley, thyme and bay leaf together with string.

In a large pan, lay half of the shredded cabbage. Place the ham on the cabbage in a single layer and scatter the garlic on top.

Add the rest of the cabbage to the pan, topped with the bouquet garni. Pour the stock into the pan and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes.

In a small frying pan, melt the butter and fry the onion until softened but not browned. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add 1 ladle of the chicken bouillon from the ham and cabbage pan, stirring constantly.

Add the milk gradually to thin the sauce. When it boils, stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.

Drain the cabbage and ham, discard the bouquet garni and divide the cabbage and ham onto two warmed plates. Serve with the parsley sauce. This dish works well with boiled, mashed or baked potatoes.

NOTE: Reserve the cabbage stock. It can be used as the basis for a very tasty soup the next day.

Chinese Spicy Pork Noodle Soup made with the reserved cabbage stock

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!


  1. Wow, my Irish grandmother used to make ham and cabbage, and my dad faithfully made it every St Paddy's day. I didn't pay much attention, as it was Irish cooking, but now I'm carrying on the tradition. Your take on this traditional dish is a bold new adventure. Thanks for sharing.
    Joe, son of Red Dog.

    1. I lived in UK for 14 years (my husband is Welsh). I learnt British & Irish foods during those years and after going back to Japan was teaching Japanese people how to cook Western cuisines, mainly British & Irish cookings. Some think there is nothing tasty in UK and Ireland, but that's completely wrong! There are so many beautiful dishes in these two countries. Thanks for your comment and Happy St. Patrick Day!


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