Smoked bacon joint with black butter glaze and colcannon

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This delicious smoked bacon recipe is glazed with Irish black butter; a richly spiced and treacly apple sauce. Serve up with a traditional Irish colcannon for a hearty comforting dinner.

To discover more about Northern Irish cuisine and for more of Chloë's recipes from the country, take a look at her feature.

First published in 2020

The combination of smoked bacon and creamy colcannon is comfort food at its best at any time. The addition of Irish Black Butter however, adds a festive tang that would be perfect on Boxing Day. Made with Armagh Bramley apples cooked down to a rich molasses with spices and brandy, Irish Black Butter is a zingy substitute for black treacle. Remember to reserve the boiling liquor as a base for a delicious soup.




Black butter glazed bacon



Ask your butcher whether it is necessary to soak your bacon joint. If you don’t have time to soak it overnight, a speedy alternative is to bring the joint to the boil in fresh water for 20-30 minutes then discard the liquid before starting again with fresh water and aromatics
Place your pre-soaked bacon joint in a large saucepan or casserole with enough water to nearly cover. Add the whole spices, bay and celery and bring to the boil
Cook the joint at a simmer for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or 20 minutes for every 450g. The internal temperature of the bacon should reach 68°C. Remember we will be finishing in a hot oven
Preheat your oven to about 220°C/gas mark 7. Take the bacon out of the boiling liquor and place on a roasting dish. Trim the skin and fat which can be used to make a lovely crackling. Score the top of the joint with a sharp knife in a diagonal grid, and liberally spread the black butter all over
Put the joint in the hot oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 200°C/gas mark 6. Cook for 20–25 minutes or until the joint is sticky and glistening. Check to see the black butter is not catching and baste if necessary. If you use a meat thermometer, the internal temperature when finished should be 71°C
Rest covered for 20–30 minutes while you make the colcannon. Boil the potatoes until soft, about 15–20 minutes, and sauté the shredded kale in batches, removing any chunks of stalk, until it is well wilted. Squeeze the water from the cooked kale and set aside
Mash the cooked potato well with butter then finish with milk when all the lumps have been taken out. Season well, then stir through the cooked kale and serve with the sweet, smoky bacon and a slick of hot mustard

Writer and illustrator Chloe King is founder of the food lovers’ book club Cook the Books.

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