Donal Skehan is a home cook, food writer and television presenter who has written five cookbooks. He presents the TV show Kitchen Hero on RTÉ One in Ireland, Grandma's Boy on FOX International and is a judge on BBC's Junior MasterChef. Check out Donal's facebook, twitter and website and make sure to subscribe to his youtube channel for more culinary tips, recipes and food travels.

This is my twist on an Irish classic, Bacon and Cabbage. Cooked in a creamy white sauce and then baked under a puff pastry a lid this a true comfort food treat.  For an extra variation, try mixing some cheddar cheese in alongside the ham and cabbage when you mix it through the white sauce.

Serves 4–6


1oz Butter

1 large onion, peeled and thinly Sliced into half moons

1 head of green cabbage, cut roughly

2 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 1/2 cups hot chicken Stock

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 heaped tsp english mustard

2/3 cup single cream

14oz cut ham, cut into chunks

12oz frozen Puff Pastry, thawed

1 large egg, Beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, Gas mark 4.
 Melt 0.8oz of the butter in a large frying pan, add the onions and fry slowly for about 15 minutes or until softened and caramelised. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

  2. Steam the cabbage in a metal steamer until al dente (i.e. not completely tender) then drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water.

  3. Melt the remaining 1.5oz of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking to combine. Gradually add the stock whisking briskly until it thickens. If it goes a little lumpy, don’t worry; just whisk vigorously until it becomes smooth.

  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3–4 minutes. Season with a generous pinch of salt, black pepper and add the mustard.

  5. Pour in the cream and stir through allowing to cook for a further minute.
Add the cabbage and ham to the sauce and stir well.

  6. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof baking dish.
Roll the pastry out on to a floured work surface, large enough to fit the top of the dish.

  7. Brush the edges of the dish with a little beaten egg and place the pastry on top of the pie. Brush with a little more beaten egg and cook in the oven for 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.