Monday, February 28, 2011

Eating through the Six nations #3: Ireland vs Scotland (Bacon n Cabbage and Cock-a-leekie soup)

I was supposed to put this post up yesterday, as that was when the game was played, but it was the 27th, which meant it was the day to post my Daring Baker stuff. So here it is :)

There are a lot of differing opinions as to what is the true traditional Irish dish. Some say lamb stew, more say its bacon and cabbage. Either are yummy dishes in my opinion :) Bacon and cabbage is much less work.

Bacon and Cabbage 
 So all you do is put the bacon in a large pot and cover with water.
Bring the water to a boil, then dump out the water (this removes a lot of the salt in the bacon), re top-up with water and boil until the bacon is cooked. Meanwhile, slice up the cabbage and give it a good rinse
When the bacon is nearly done (after about 1.5 hrs on the second boil), add the cabbage and cook it right in with the bacon. The cabbage takes on the porky-salty-yummy flavour. Plus its more cost-efficient than boiling a second pot. 

Slice up the bacon, mash the potatoes you cooked at the same time (in a different pot), drizzle a little parsley sauce over it and enjoy!
VERDICT: Nom-nom-nom! Pretty yummy component for the Irish portion of this post!

Now for the Scottish:

Cock-a-Leekie Soup (From Traditional Scottish Recipes)

3lb chicken
3 slices streaky bacon
1lb stewing beef
2lb leeks
1 large onion (I had two small ones)
5 fluid ounces Scotch whiskey
4 pints water
1 tbsp dried tarragon (I used a few springs of fresh tarragon as I couldn't find dried anywhere)
salt and pepper

Mix the whiskey, tarragon and sugar in the water (hmmm ... no sugar listed in ingredients, so I left it out). Chop up the bacon and place the chicken, bacon and beef in a large bowl and pour over the whiskey marinade. Leave to soak overnight. Place the entire mixture in a large soup pot. Chop up the leeks (reserving one) and onion and add to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for two hours, removing any scum as required. Remove the chicken from the pot, remove skin and bones. Chop the meat into small pieces and return to the pot. Cut up the beef, if required. Add the last chopped leek and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

VERDICT: Never again. Sugar may have made a difference, but there was a strong whiskey taste that I am not a fan of. There was no alcohol left after the long boiling time, so no worry of getting tipsy, but it tasted like a lump of whiskey with the texture of chicken. So not such a fan of this traditional Scottish dish. But that's ok, at least I tried it :)

Result: Ireland 21 - Scotland 18

So, what was one dish you tried but won't be attempting again?


Jenn x


  1. Haha, pity about the soup, it looks very tasty!
    Yay you won :)

  2. I have to say that the soup looks more appetizing than pork and cabbage but I just can't imagine putting scotch in it haha