If you are looking for a different way to cook cabbage, then look no further. This recipe for baked cabbage wrapped in bacon uses a whole head of cabbage. It is baked in the oven in chicken stock (or beer!) until it is perfectly tender and delicious. And in addition, I've included steps to make the perfect roast potatoes.
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Baked cabbage wrapped in bacon
Question - What do you get when you remove the core from a cabbage, pour in some chicken stock, wrap it in bacon, cover it with tin foil and bake in the oven?
- tender, perfectly cooked cabbage, packed with flavour?
- crispy bacon that complements the cabbage so well?
- enough leftovers to make a dish of bubble and squeak?
- the perfect accompaniment to a roast?
- all of the above?
If you picked '5', you'd be 100% correct!
I just love this recipe.
I love the way the bacon crisps up and clings to the outer leaves of the cabbage. And the way the chicken stock soaks into the cabbage as it bakes in the oven, giving it a completely different taste to normal boiled cabbage.
I also love the fact that there are always lots of leftovers, meaning that I can make hubby's favourite bubble and squeak with sausages for dinner the next night (see further down for easy instructions to make bubble and squeak).
And I especially love the fact that this baked cabbage wrapped in bacon is so easy to make.
Oh yes, I also love the way I can just pop it in the oven alongside the roast so it saves on electricity.
If you want to learn to love this recipe too, then read on for the instructions 🙂 (And as a bonus, I'm sharing my tips for making the perfect roast potatoes).
How to make bacon-wrapped cabbage
Get the full list of ingredients and complete instructions for making cabbage wrapped in bacon on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
The first thing you will need, of course, is a cabbage. I have used a small firm white cabbage for this recipe (see image 1 below), but you can use any small firm cabbage. The cabbage I used weighed just over 500g (slightly over 1 pound).
Remove the outer leaves and then, using a sharp knife, carefully remove the core (image 1). I find the easiest way to do this is to insert the knife at an angle alongside the core. Then remove the knife and insert it again just next to the first cut. Work your way like this all around the core and the core should just lift out. Sprinkle the inside of the cabbage lightly with salt and black pepper.
Next, you will need enough rashers of bacon to cover the cabbage. Lay these on a piece of tinfoil which will be large enough to surround the cabbage completely (image 2). You can use back bacon, as I have used here, or you can use streaky bacon. It also doesn't matter whether the bacon is smoked or unsmoked. Just use your bacon of preference.
Now make slits in the cabbage approximately 2cm (1") apart. Be careful not to cut all the way through the cabbage. Pull the cabbage apart slightly to open the slits. The slits are to allow the chicken stock to penetrate into the cabbage (image 3).
Finally, place the cabbage on top of the bacon and wrap the bacon rashers up around the cabbage, leaving an opening where the core was removed, to allow you to pour in the chicken stock (image 4).
Fill the cabbage with chicken stock
If you have fresh chicken stock you can use that. Otherwise, dissolve one chicken stock cube in one cup of boiling water and use that instead. Now carefully pour the stock into the cabbage until it just reaches the top of the opening (image 1). You will not need the entire cup of stock. I used about ⅓ cup. You can use the remaining stock to add to your gravy if you are making a roast with this cabbage.
This recipe can also be made with beer instead of chicken stock. I wouldn't use a strong beer like Guinness though - normal lager is fine.
Lastly, fold up the edges of the tinfoil and fold it over to seal it all around. Be careful to keep the cabbage upright so that the stock does not spill out.
Place the wrapped cabbage into a small baking dish that you previously lined with tinfoil (image 2). This will protect the baking dish in case any of the stock manages to leak out and will save on washing up afterwards.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for between 75 to 90 minutes depending on the size of the cabbage. If you are making a roast you can place the baking tray into the oven with your roast. Otherwise, you should preheat the oven to 180C / 360F
To test for doneness, remove the cabbage from the oven after 1 hour and carefully open the tinfoil. It will be hot, watch out for hot steam. Insert a sharp knife into the cabbage. If the knife slips in easily, then the cabbage is cooked. If not, reseal the tinfoil around the cabbage and return to the oven for a few more minutes. The actual cooking time will depend on the size of your cabbage.
Once the cabbage is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and open the tin foil, folding it away from the cabbage to expose the bacon on the sides. Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon is crispy and golden.
Serve slices of the cabbage and bacon as a side vegetable with a roast.
You can store any leftovers in a covered dish in the refrigerator and use them to make bubble and squeak (see below for instructions).
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How to make the best roast potatoes
I promised you some tips for making the best roast potatoes, and here they are.
For the potatoes shown in the images in this post, I used small new potatoes.
- Leave the skin on the potatoes and just wash them in cold water to remove any dirt.
- Cut the potatoes in half.
- Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of sunflower/canola oil in a metal baking tray and place the tray in the oven to heat up while you parboil the potatoes. I like to line my tray with tinfoil to make the washing up easier, but this is not strictly necessary.
- Place the cleaned potatoes in a saucepan of cold water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Allow them to boil for 5 minutes (no longer) then drain into a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Remove the hot tray from the oven and tip in the drained potatoes. Be careful, they will splatter as they hit the hot oil. Toss lightly to ensure that each potato gets coated with oil.
- I like to sprinkle with a little more salt to encourage crispiness, but if you don't like to cook with salt you can leave this off.
- Replace the tray of potatoes back in the oven and leave for at least half an hour until they start to brown.
- After half an hour, turn the potatoes with a spatula and leave in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve.
How to make bubble and squeak
And here is the second recipe I promised you. How to make bubble and squeak, in the event that you have any cabbage wrapped in bacon left over.
For those of you who don't know, bubble and squeak is really just a fry-up of leftover cabbage and potatoes. It gets its name from the squeaking sound that the cabbage makes when frying.
To make bubble and squeak you will need approximately the same quantity of cooked leftover cabbage and cooked leftover potatoes. If I know I am going to be making this dish, I always cook extra roast potatoes and use those, but you can use leftover mashed potatoes instead.
- Cut the leftover cabbage, bacon and potatoes into approximately 1" pieces and mix them together.
- Heat 2 tablespoons sunflower/canola oil in a large frying pan. Spread the cabbage and potato mixture into an even layer in the frying pan and leave it over a low to medium heat until the mixture starts to brown on the bottom. This should take about 5 minutes
- Stir it around to turn it over and leave for a further few minutes until nicely browned all over. You may need to stir it around a few times.
I like to serve bubble and squeak with my favourite sausages for a quick and easy mid-week supper.
Save for later
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You may also like to try some of these other cabbage recipes:
- Spicy braised red cabbage with apple and onion
- Buttered cabbage with leeks and mustard seeds
- Creamed cabbage South African style
- Pork and cabbage hotpot
Baked cabbage wrapped in bacon
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1 small firm white cabbage approximately 500g or 1 pound
- 4 - 6 rashers bacon (back or streaky / smoked or unsmoked)
- ⅓ cup chicken stock (or beer)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Remove the outer leaves and core of the cabbage (Note 1)
- Arrange the bacon rashers on a sheet of tinfoil which is large enough to enclose the cabbage.
- Cut slits in the cabbage to allow the stock to penetrate into the cabbage.
- Place the cabbage onto the bacon and wrap the bacon slices up and around the cabbage.
- Fill the cavity where the cabbage core was removed with chicken stock (or beer). (Note 2)
- Fold the tinfoil around the cabbage. Keep the cabbage upright so the stock does not spill out.
- Place the wrapped cabbage into a baking dish.
- Bake the cabbage at 180°C / 360°F for 75 to 90 minutes until cooked (Note 3).
- Remove from the oven and open the tinfoil, folding it away from the cabbage to expose the bacon on the sides.
- Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon is crispy and golden.
- Serve slices of the cabbage and bacon as a side vegetable with a roast.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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