Bacon and Cabbage – Scandinavian Style

For St Patrick’s day we went for traditional and ate a pot of seafood chowder with brown bread followed by a great pile of bacon and cabbage. Today when I looked in the fridge for something light for lunch, I was faced with half a joint of cold ham and half a spring cabbage, which was starting to look sad as it prepared to wilt. So, it will be open sandwiches for lunch, which will make great use of the leftovers. A sort of Paddy’s Smorrebrod taking  inspiration from its Danish namesake. Importantly, this is also a “no cook”, quick solution for the weekend when the family tend to be in and out of the door at different times. And frankly, this just seems a bit more exciting than cold meat sandwiches.

With the addition of a few store cupboard or back of the fridge staples the sorry cabbage is quickly transformed into a fresh, tangy coleslaw, piled on the salty, savoury, sweet ham, which in turn is piled on thickly buttered home-made brown bread. I add some parsley and few slices of gherkins and that is it.


For the Coleslaw take:

  • Half a cabbage – green or white works best with this, finely chopped.
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1 onion finely grated
  • Half a celeriac peeled and grated coarsely (This is optional, but I love this in coleslaw.)
  • 1 generous tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard – Dijon, Irish, English or in this case I have used Swedish mustard which has a lovely mild, sweet flavour and I happened to have in the fridge.
  • Handful of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped.

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and load them on to your open ham sandwich. Add a few slices of gherkin for a really Scandinavian touch. If you want to use left-over smoked salmon or mackerel instead of ham for this just substitute the mustard for some horseradish sauce. It would also be very good with a “hair of the dog and goes equally well with a glass of porter, a cold beer or if we were in Denmark maybe some ice cold schnapps. But don’t worry, its not compulsory if you have over indulged this weekend and as it happens we had it with a large glass of cold milk.

Skal or Slainte!

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