900g loin or collar of bacon, preferably with the rind still on
For the parsley sauce:
A few slices of carrots
A few slices of onion
A sprig of parsley
A sprig of thyme
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cabbage puree:
Half a large green cabbage (e.g. savoy) cut into quarters, cored & finely shredded
75ml single or double cream
For the bacon: Place the bacon in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring slowly to the boil. Drain, refill the pan with fresh water and repeat. This gets rid of the salt (which appears as a white froth on top of the water) so it may need to be done again, depending on how salty the bacon is. Taste the water - if it is still salty repeat the process, otherwise turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for 40mins (allowing 45 mins per 1kg).
Once the bacon is cooked (a skewer in the middle should come out easily) remove from the pan (reserving the cooking liquid and leave to rest, covered with foil or a clean tea towel.
For the parsley sauce: Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the carrot, onion, parsley, thyme and peppercorns. Place over a medium-low heat and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down a simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Strain the milk through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Melt the butter in the milk saucepan, add the flour and whisk over the heat for 1 minute.
Gradually pour in the milk and whisk to remove any lumps. Bring to the boil and whisk over the heat until the sauce has thickened, then stir in the the mustard and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the cabbage puree: While the bacon is resting, place the cabbage in a saucepan with the butter and 75ml water. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes until the cabbage has completely wilted. Add the cream and bring to the boil, then transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz to a smooth puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove the rind from the bacon and cut the meat into thick slices. Serve with the cabbage puree, parsley sauce and potato cakes (see recipe below).
TIP: If you cannot find a loin or collar of bacon use a small bacon or gammon joint instead.