Food with JP passion St. Patrick’s Day Loin of Bacon with Spring Cabbage and Chocolate Guinness Cake
By JP Kennedy
John Paul Kennedy is a self-taught cook and an avid fan of collecting cookery books with a passion for good old-fashioned home cooking. his passion for proper family cooking stems from his TWO Grandmothers who were both excellent cooks, one of whom was a trained chef. JP promises to bring us plenty of family-inspired recipes and tasty treats while showing us how to get the basics right.
This is a real traditional menu for St. Patrick’s Day and one I return to year after year. Again, like last year there will be no parades or the normal celebrations we’re accustomed to.
However, in my view, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a celebratory meal to mark the occasion and these recipes are a real crowd pleaser that are not complicated to make but elevate standard bacon and cabbage to the next level.
I always serve mine with creamy mashed potato and savoury gravy, there’s no better comfort Irish themed food to mark our national day.
This week I am featuring the very first recipe I shared in my echo blog, Chocolate Guinness cake – A real showstopper of a cake that I first made for St Paddy’s day six years ago and one I’ve been making ever since. I hope you enjoy these delicious and traditional recipes and Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Ingredients: (serves 4 -6)
- 1.7Kg piece of bacon skin on
- 100g light brown sugar
- Good drizzle of Maple syrup
- 1 head of savoy cabbage finely chopped or buy pre-prepared
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- 30g butter
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 175ml of double cream
- Sea salt and generous amount of grounded black pepper
1. I used a piece of bacon that only requires roasting and no pre-boiling. Simply place on a roasting tray, pack on the brown sugar and drizzle all over with maple syrup and pop into a preheated oven 180 degrees / gas mark 8 for 2 hours 10 minutes. You should baste at least three times throughout the course of the bacon joint roasting.
2. For the spring cabbage pop all of the ingredients into a large saucepan on medium heat, mix together, season with a little salt and plenty of freshly grounded black pepper and cover with a piece of baking parchment paper or butter wrapper and cover with a tight fitting lid and cooking for 8 -10 minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Serve with Creamy mash potatoes parsley sauce or like in my house (nobody likes parsley sauce) with savoury gravy and enjoy. This is bacon and cabbage with the volume turned up!
Chocolate Guinness Cake
Rich, moist Chocolate cake, almost caramel like in flavour with a heavenly vanilla flavoured icing your family will love you for producing this decadent cake for dessert for this years’ St Patrick’s Day celebrations!
- 300ml of Guinness
- 260g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 420g castor sugar
- 100g Good quality cocoa powder
- 180ml buttermilk
- 300g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of bicarb
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 300g icing sugar
- 300g full fat cream cheese (Don’t use low fat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
2. Grease a 20cm round spring-form cake tin and line the based with parchment paper and flour the sides of the tin to help prevent the cake sticking – It’s quite a wet batter!
3. Heat and melt the butter over a medium heat in a large saucepan. Stir in the Guinness and cocoa powder and remove from the heat and stir and mix well.
4. Whisk together your eggs, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Then slowly add the Guinness mixture whisking all the time. I use a free standing mixer.
5. Sieve together your flour, bicarb and baking powder and slowly pour into the wet mixture, mixing until well combined and you have a rich smooth chocolate batter.
6. Pop the batter into your prepared baking tin and pop into your preheated oven for approx. 45 -55 minutes.
7. Test the cake to check it’s fully cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean then your cake is baked. Set aside to cool fully and prepare the icing.
8. To make the icing combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until nice and smooth.
9. Turn your cooled cake out on to a nice serving plate and lather the top of the cake generously with your vanilla icing.
The cake will last up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge but hopefully it won’t last that long. If leaving in the fridge, take out about 30 minutes before serving to bring up to room temperature, serve and enjoy !
Wishing everyone a very happy St Patrick’s Day. I can’t think of any better way to mark the occasion that with some delicious food that all the family can enjoy. This is exactly the menu I’ll be cooking this year. I’m getting hungry and excited just thinking about it.
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