Ingredients: • loin of bacon or smoked shoulder, about 3 pounds
• 2 celery stalks
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 1 to 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 1 tablespoon Irish whole-grain mustard (see Resources), or similar
• 1 tablespoon Irish honey (see Resources), or similar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 3 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
• 1/4 cup reserved liquid (above)
• 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
• 3 tablespoons light cream or half-and-half
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
• Salt and freshly black pepper to taste
A traditional meal of bacon and cabbage is considered delightful in Ireland,
but a loin of bacon or ham joint, boiled, then baked with honey and mustard
and served with an apple-cream sauce, is an interesting variation. This is a
great party dish because it can be prepared ahead of time and served cold with a
In a large pot of cold water, combine the bacon or smoked shoulder, celery,
carrot, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce
heat to a simmer. Cook until fork tender, 60 to 75 minutes, skimming the water
occasionally to remove foam.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Transfer the bacon or shoulder to a roasting
pan. Strain and reserve the liquid. Cut off the rind and score the fat.
Combine the mustard and honey in a small bowl and spread over the meat. Add 2/3 cup
of the reserved broth to the roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes. Add more
broth if necessary during cooking. Transfer to a serving plate.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the apple slices and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of
the reserved broth or stock, the whiskey, and cream, and boil, stirring
constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tarragon and
season with salt and pepper. To serve, slice the meat and serve with the sauce.
Serves 4 to 6.