Smoked Collar of Bacon with Buttermilk Mashed Potato, Savoy Cabbage and Chive Sauce

Smoked Collar of Bacon with Buttermilk Mashed Potato, Savoy Cabbage and Chive Sauce


Sometimes simple speaks volumes, and this is the case in this traditional Irish recipe from our brand ambassadors GastroGays. Great for St. Patrick’s Day and as good for a Sunday lunch as it is a comforting mid-week dinner. This recipe is really a celebration of our local produce, including Hugh Maguire Butchers, Meade Farm, Rock Farm Slane, Oriel Sea Salt and Newgrange Gold.
We use a nice floury potato here, like Meade Farm’s brand new Irish Gold variety with their ideal texture, golden skin and noticeable purple ‘eyes’, which makes a sensational mash.
Russell & Patrick
Hugh Maguire Butchers AKA “The Smokin Butcher” in Co. Meath has reinvented and reimagined a classic from the past with his Smoked Collar of Bacon. A staple a couple of generations ago, its fallen out of fashion and now hard to find unless you order in from your local butcher. Hugh to the rescue by resurrecting this classic with a three-step process: Himalayan pink salt-dry cure, a brown sugar sweet cure and a final smoking over beechwood chips!
 Smoked Collar of Bacon w/ Buttermilk Mashed Potato, Savoy Cabbage and Chive Sauce

Serves 4

For the mashed potato

  • Smoked Collar of Bacon
  • A head of Savoy Cabbage or Kale (we use Rock Farm Slane’s organic cabbage or kale)

 For the Chive Sauce

  • 30g real Irish butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 450ml milk
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • A handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • (optional) a few sprigs of dill, stems removed and fronds chopped

 For the bacon

This style of bacon comes in the packaging fo you steam-bake it in, so it seals in the moisture and stops it from drying out or overcooking, Hugh suggests to give this about 2 hours in the oven at 150ºC and it should be perfect. We take it out after this and pop it on a higher heat (190ºC) for 10-15 minutes just to add some extra colour, glazing with the juices a couple of times. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving into slices and serving.

For the mashed potato

  1. Peel and halve your potatoes as you bring a pot of water to a boil, just enough to cover the potatoes comfortably. Cover and reduce the heat, allowing the potatoes to cook until tender (a knife inserted and removed without any resistance) then drain immediately and add to a mixing bowl.
  2. Melt 100g of butter in a saucepan, then add 150ml buttermilk and allow to warm on the lowest heat as you mash (or rice) the potatoes, then add the liquid ingredients, mashing or beating in with a wooden spoon to aid air. You may need more liquid depending on the consistency you want, bearing in mind you can always add more liquid but can’t really take it away, so be careful or you might end up with too loose a mash.
  3. Season the mash really well with ground white pepper, Oriel Sea Salt and - if you have it - a glug or two of Newgrange Gold Smokey Rapeseed Oil, which adds a hint of colour and a gorgeous smoky nuttiness to the mash.

For the cabbage/kale

Wash and roughly chop the cabbage or kale leaves, removing the fibrous stem and discarding so you just have the leaves. Melt a little butter in a pan on a medium heat and then follow with around 100ml of water, add in the chopped greens and put a lid on top, reducing the heat to low and allowing the greens to steam and gently fry, which is far superior to boiling. Once tender, drain on some kitchen paper, salt liberally and serve whilst still warm.

For the sauce

  1. First, make a roux by melting the butter and stirring in the flour until a paste forms. Allow this to cook out for one minute, stirring with a whisk often so as not to colour.
  2. Then, add the milk, 50ml at a time or so, continuously whisking until the sauce is thickened, lump-free and the viscosity of double cream –– pourable yet thick.
  3. Add the herbs off the heat (so they don’t go a horrible off-green colour in the heat) and serve immediately.Chive seems to bring so much more to this than parsley ever could, with its soft allium bite.


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