What We’re Cooking This Week: Creamy Cabbage With Potatoes, Leeks and Bacon

It’s a simpler take on colcannon, since everything cooks together and there’s no potato mashing required.

Creamy cabbage with potatoes, leeks and bacon. (Jim Dixon)

Jim Dixon wrote about food for WW for more than 20 years, but these days most of his time is spent at his olive oil-focused specialty food business Wellspent Market. Jim’s always loved to eat, and he encourages his customers to cook by sending them recipes every week through his newsletter. We’re happy to have him back creating some special dishes just for WW readers.

Everybody loves cabbage and potatoes. The Dutch eat stoempot, mashed potatoes with cabbage or other vegetables, Catalonians call their mix of potatoes, cabbage, and pork trinxat, Bolivians make a stew called guisado de repollo con papas, and on the Indian subcontinent a spicer version sans pork goes by sabzi.

Famous as potato consumers, the Irish also love cabbage, and they eat them together in colcannon, spuds mashed with cabbage and enriched with cream, sometimes bacon. That’s what inspired this one-pot dish, a simpler take since everything cooks together and there’s no potato mashing required. It makes a lovely side dish, but you can also make a meal out of it with maybe a salad and bread. And if you don’t eat bacon, it’ll be almost as good without it.

Creamy Cabbage With Potatoes, Leeks and Bacon

1-2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1-2 potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly ½-inch pieces*

1 leek, halved and sliced thinly*

½ head green cabbage, chopped

½ cup water or broth

1 cup cream

Kosher-style sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

*I like either russet or yellow potatoes and the size can vary, but it doesn’t matter too much. Use a couple of you really like potatoes. Leeks need to be cleaned thoroughly, so cut off the top, darker green part where it begins to fan out, slice it lengthwise but leave the root end intact, and pull back the top leaves a bit to rinse out any dirt under running water

In a large pot with a lid, cook the bacon in the olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat until it just begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the leek and cook for a few minutes, then add the potato, cabbage, water, and cream. Add another good pinch of salt and some black pepper, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Taste and add salt if needed, serve hot.

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