Friday, 8 April 2016

Ham, Cabbage & Fluffy Mashed Potato

Hi Honeys
Yaaay!  The sun finally made an appearance yesterday, after a miserable, rainy week!  So, naturally,  I spent the afternoon doing laundry and pegging it outside in the lovely, fresh (although still chilly) air :)  Is there any better feeling than standing at the kitchen window with a cuppa looking out at lines of laundry floating around in a lovely gentle breeze?

It can't just be me who loves laundry that much can it?  A dear friend once told me, long ago,  I had "an unnatural obsession with laundry" :) It still makes me smile.. a lot :) She's right, (love you Mimmy sweetheart x) I can't help it, laundry is my fun time, love it! :)

Having run out of laundry (boo!) I decided to plan dinner for Hubby getting home from work and since there was a chill in the breeze in spite of the sunshine, I thought I'd make one of his favourites. He works so hard, bless him (thank you sweetheart, love you too x)  

Well, since I was going to make one of Hubby's favourite dinners and since it really was a staple dish when we were both growing up, I thought I'd share the recipe because I'm curious as to where this was a common place meal.  Certainly it was popular in working class Scottish homes here on the West coast of Scotland.
Ham Cabbage & Fluffy Mashed Potato
I'm fairly certain, from what I've heard over the years honeys, that a version of this dish was also popular in Ireland too. Without doubt it was a popular dinner in working class households because it's very inexpensive to make.  I grew up on a council estate in a poor neighbourhood and while we didn't have money we did have everything we needed. I have such wonderful memories of my childhood honeys.    

We may not have had luxuries in 1970s Scotland but we did have fabulous, homemade from scratch food! There were no microwaves and no Scots woman worth her salt would have allowed a "TV dinner" in the house!

The smells that came out of our childhood kitchens! Heavenly! Such wonderful memories :) Hurrying home from school on bitterly cold winter days, knowing there would be a huge bowl of homemade vegetable soup waiting and a coal fire to sit in front of :)
Tonight's dinner, ham, cabbage & fluffy mash, brings back such memories of my childhood home, and it does the same for my husband too :) Although, interestingly enough my sweet MiL would cook her cabbage in a separate pot! No idea why, she just did :)

I'm going to share my own method honeys, passed down to me from my beloved Gramma. I watched her make this (and so many other yummy dishes, Gramma made chicken soup that was worth being ill for :) so often growing up and I wouldn't trade those memories for the whole world :)

Ham, Cabbage & Fluffy Mashed Potato

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of bacon rashers (this is a great way to use those packs of bacon mis-shapes you see at the supermarket)     
  • 4 or 5 medium potatoes
  • 1 pack of frozen, shredded cabbage (apologies to Gramma but I work late shifts and find it much easier to keep a pack of frozen in the freezer :) 
  • 1 ham stock cube

Directions

1.  Roughly cut up the rashers into approximately bite sized pieces.... 

Bacon rashers cut into pieces
On a side note:  In Scotland the term "ham" also applies to bacon. True! You can walk into a butchers shop to buy the ingredients for the family Sunday breakfast and ask for ham, eggs, sausage and all the trimmings  and a Scottish butcher will smile and put together a pack of eggs, a large pack of tattie scones (yum!) (square) sausage (savoury lorne of course!) and black pudding (ewwww! don't even get me started! it repels me as much as Haggis does and Hubby loves it!) but the kindly butcher will not (as he might in England) hand over cooked ham, the ham that accompanies a Scots breakfast is bacon rashers. Good to know in case you find yourself in bonnie Scotland honeys :)

2.  Having sliced your bacon into bite sized pieces, they should be added to a pot of cold water and put onto a high heat to bring to the boil.

3. While this is happening you could peel your potatoes and place into a saucepan...
Peeled potatoes ready to cook
These too should be put onto a high heat to bring to the boil.  Check the saucepan containing your bacon pieces,  once it is boiling reduce the heat a little, add your ham stock cube and allow to simmer for around fifteen minutes making sure there is enough water in the pot, top it up if necessary.

4. After approximately 15 minutes, open your pack of frozen shredded cabbage (sorry Gramma x) and pour all of its contents into the pot containing your bacon pieces and stir through.  Raise the heat again (and top up water if neccessary although you shouldn't have to since the frozen cabbage adds moisture as it melts) and bring to the boil for a further 8 - 10 minutes until the cabbage is cooked.  
Ham & cabbage cooking away
You may find family members starting to gather around the kitchen by now because the scent in your kitchen will be quite heavenly :)

5. While the cabbage bubbles away happily in the saucepan making friends with the bacon pieces, carefully remove your pot of potatoes from the stove and drain the hot water away.  Add a knob of butter and a couple of splashes of milk (not too much!) and mash the potatoes...
Freshly mashed potatoes
 6. Serve your mashed potatoes with a good sized helping of the bacon and cabbage, using a slotted spoon to remove the ham & cabbage since you don't want too much fluid on your dinner plate, it'll make your perfectly fluffy mash go watery and no one likes that! However, don't throw away that delicious ham stock!  We have a use for it....
Ham Cabbage And Fluffy Mashed Potato
I use a metal scoop, like the kind you'd use for ice cream? to serve fluffy mash because I think it looks pretty and because that's how it was always done at school when I was a child :)

What to do with that pot of stock left over from cooking the bacon & cabbage...

After you've enjoyed dinner, and you so will honeys :)  Once dishes are done and put away and you have your work space back again, off to the pantry to grab as many veggies as you have available. I'm talking a couple of carrots, some turnip, an onion, a couple of potatoes and maybe a leek if you have it.

Wash them well then peel and roughly chop before adding them to your wonderful pot of ham stock (the water the bacon and cabbage has been cooked in) top up the pot with water and if you've added more than half the amount of water to the stock already present in the pot, then chuck in another ham stock cube.

Bring the pot to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering until the veggies are all cooked - check by piercing either the potato or turnip (since they take longest to cook through) with a knife, if it goes straight through without resistance it's done.  Remove from the heat and you have the most delicious big pot of mouth watering vegetable soup :)

It will keep for a day or so, or you can also freeze it but I don't think you'll have any left to freeze once the family are done enjoying it :)  Serve with bread and hugs x

Hubby enjoyed his ham, cabbage and mash so much he's taken some to work with him for lunch, bless him :) He had a bowl of soup later last night after he came back from walking our furbaby Jade, and is, he says, looking forward to having a huge mug of soup when he gets home from work today :)

Did you have ham, cabbage & mash growing up honeys? If not, are you tempted to try it?  Do let me know if you do and remember to save the stock for a delicious pot of veggie soup, the family will love you for it :) Remember if you're not a fan of chunky vegetables in your soup, you can run a hand blender through the soup carefully and you'll be left with delicious, lump-less vegetable soup.

Have a wonderful weekend dear ones, till next time stay warm, smile lots and hug even more, huggles always xxx

2 comments:

  1. Oh wow Rosie! YUM! Once again I am hungry :) It is so sweet that you have such good childhood memories. I love how smells can just bring you back. We always had homemade dinners growing up too. Now that I know how easy some of her recipes are I'm amazed! But hers ALWAYS taste better. We didn't have ham very much growing up or bacon but I LOVE it. We did have potatoes though. And lots of corn (hello midwest Nebraska!) and chicken. So glad the sun was shining for you Rosie. I love that you love laundry so much. I wish you could give me at least 5% of your love for it. Scott and I both can't stand it and put it off forever. But maybe someday if I can dry it outside I will be more motivated. Laundry units in apartments are sooooo annoying, always breaking and never quite drying my clothes enough. You have created quite the lovely imagery of laundry for me Rosie :) oxoxoxo

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    1. Oh Heather! I'm so, so sorry!! I found your lovely comment while editing old posts! I'm so sorry I missed it honey!! Thank you so much for visiting and even though I'm so sorry I missed this comment till now, I can't begin to tell you how much seeing your name made me smile :) Sending you mountains of huggles always dear wee friend xxx

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