Pork and Cabbage Soup

March 16, 2013 § 6 Comments


Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and there are many blogs out there creating all kinds of unique and interesting (and some strange) recipes. I am going to stick with a simple soup made with these traditionally Irish ingredients, potatoes and cabbage.

I did want to add some meat to this and lamb would be the proper choice, but I had no lamb. I did have some country style spare ribs sitting in the fridge and since pork and cabbage are a match made in heaven, I’m sure St. Patrick would approve. So into the pot they went.

Sorry there’s not much green in this dish, but I was wearing a green apron!

So here’s my simple recipe:

few slices bacon

3 nice, meaty country style spare ribs, bone in

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1/2 rib celery, chopped

2 TBL apple cider vinegar

2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or even water if you don’t have)

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks

1 small head green cabbage ( I used Savoy) finely sliced



1 dried chili pepper (optional)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp rosemary

3 juniper berries

1 clove

salt and pepper


Cut the bacon into smallish pieces, boil for a few minutes in water to remove some of the smoky flavor. Drain.

Put the bacon into a pot and saute until crisp. You may need to add a little fat to get it going. Remove.

Salt and pepper the ribs well and brown them in the hot fat on all sides to seal in the juices. Remove.

Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and saute a few minutes until soft.

Return the bacon and meat to the pan and add the vinegar and stock. I say 2 to 3 cups here as you can make this a very soupy dish or make it more like a stew if you wish. But you do want the ribs immersed in the liquid.

Add the spices and a little more salt, about 1/2 tsp.

Bring to a slow boil and then cover and simmer for a good hour and a half.

Add the cut up potatoes and cabbage and let it all simmer together for another 45 minutes.


Shred the meat from the bones, return to the soup.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep an eye out for the clove and juniper berries when it’s done and remove them, don’t want to bite into that!

Add a little chopped parsley for that touch of green.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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