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Authentic Irish Traditions from the Indy Style Kitchen to yours

Chef Gareth Granville (@GarethGranville) creates some traditional Irish foods you will want to serve for your St. Patrick’s Day feast or any time you want to feel Irish.

I’m going to take a traditional Irish meal, Bacon and Cabbage, and I’m going to turn it into something a little bit more contemporary and modern.”

Bacon (or Ham) and Cabbage:

Bacon and Cabbage is a meal that has likely been served in one form or another at every Irish dinner table. Gareth uses ham steaks instead of bacon chops because they’re easier to find than whole, brined bacon joints. They taste just as good and they are already cooked, so they’re great time-savers.

Traditionally, the meat, the cabbage and vegetables would all have been boiled in a pot of water. This is fine if you have limited resources, but the results can be less than amazing. Gareth’s version of the old classic is still really simple, with a slightly more contemporary approach.

Begin by turning on your oven to 400° and putting a large pot of salted water over high heat on the stove. Next, Peel and chop carrots, fennel and any other vegetables you’d like into bite-sized chunks. Combine them in a bowl, season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Place them on a roasting tray and cook in the oven until tender and brown on the edges.

While the vegetables are roasting, slice the cabbage into wedges, cutting through the stalk so that the wedges remain intact. Blanch the cabbage wedges in the boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, or until tender, but not falling apart. Remove the wedges from the pot and allow to drain.

Next, Make the whiskey sauce. Place one cup of sugar and ½ cup of water in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. When the mixture has reduced in volume and obtained a chestnut-brown colour, add ¼ cup of whiskey and ¼ cup of water. Set the sauce aside to cool. If the sauce becomes to thick and sticky when it cools, place it back on the heat and add more water.

The almond butter accompanying the cabbage is simple to make. Take about a cup of raw almond butter and add ¼ cup sherry vinegar, ¼ cup water and salt to taste. The aim is to have a loose, spreadable consistency.

When the cabbage has stopped dripping, drizzle olive oil over the wedges and brown them off on a grill pan, on a grill or under a broiler. Make sure to get a reasonably dark char on each side.

Finally, melt a little butter in a sautee pan, dredge portion-sized pieces of ham steak in seasoned flour and brown both sides in the melted butter. Set aside.

When the vegetables in the oven are ready, remove them from the roasting pan into a bowl and toss with salt, lime juice, cilantro and cumin. Then , place them in a heated serving dish.

Smear some almond butter mix on the bottom of a serving platter, then pile up the grilled cabbage wedges on top. Place slices of apple liberally around the cabbage and garnish with fresh, chopped parsley.

Place the cooked meat on a heated serving dish and drizzle generously with the whiskey sauce.

Arrange the plates with appropriate serving utensils and let averybody serve themselves.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!