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Cider-braised bacon with rumbledethumps

You'll need

750 ml dry apple cider 60 ml (¼ cup) cider vinegar 80 gm brown sugar 2 fresh bay leaves 1 kg piece middle bacon 18 golden shallots, halved lengthways   Rumbledethumps 1 kg mashing potatoes, such as sebago, coarsely chopped 120 gm butter, coarsely chopped, plus extra, melted, for brushing 250 gm Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced 80 ml (⅓ cup) pouring cream ¼ cup finely chopped chives 200 gm vintage cheddar, coarsely grated


  • 01
  • Stir cider, vinegar, sugar and bay leaves in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 500ml (20-25 minutes). Season to taste and cool to room temperature.
  • 02
  • Place bacon in a small roasting pan, pour over cider mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate, turning occasionally.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Add shallot to roasting pan, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 220C and cook, basting frequently and turning bacon halfway through cooking, until bacon is golden and tender (45 minutes-1 hour). Remove bacon from pan and thickly slice.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for rumbledethumps, combine potato and cold salted water to cover in a large saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender (20-25 minutes). Drain potato well and return to pan. Melt 50gm butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add cabbage, season to taste and stir occasionally until just wilted (2-3 minutes). Add to potato with cream and remaining butter and mash with a potato masher to combine. Season to taste, stir in chives and 180gm cheese, then spoon into a buttered shallow ovenproof baking dish. Scatter with remaining cheese, cover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove lid, bake until golden and bubbling (5-10 minutes), then serve hot with sliced bacon and shallots, with cider braising liquid spooned over.
This recipe is from the June 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Good-quality cider is a worthy investment for this method of cooking bacon. Rumbledethumps is a Scottish potato-based dish similar to Irish colcannon. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Rich scrumpy-style cider.

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