When we asked Eugene and Ronan Greaney, founders (and brothers) of The Dough Bros — named Ireland’s best pizzeria in 2020 — to create a traditional St. Paddy’s Day pizza recipe, they immediately knew what they wanted to make: It had to be bacon and cabbage.
As Eugene explained, “You ask any Irish person what their favorite Irish dish is, most would say bacon and cabbage. We’re no different. In fact, it could be our death row meal.”
If you’ve never had this traditional dish, bacon and cabbage is not as simple as it sounds. In Ireland, “bacon” is a thick hunk of pork loin — not the streaky, smoky breakfast strips that might come to mind. Traditionally, the loin is poached in water, then sweet cabbage is cooked in the reserved liquid. Served with floury potatoes and a mustard or parsley sauce, the dish is hearty and comforting. This is a classic home-cooked meal just like Mammy used to make.
For their bacon and cabbage pizza, The Dough Bros took a more finessed approach to the iconic dish’s key elements. Instead of pork loin, they used ham hock, slow roasted until it falls off the bone, then grilled with mustard and hot honey. On the pizza itself, it’s layered with a thick parsley cream sauce, mozzarella, crispy roast potatoes, and slivers of umami-packed miso butter-braised cabbage.
As with many good things, a little extra time and work will go a long way. Eugene and Ronan are big fans of sourcing quality ingredients. Visit your local butcher for the best ham hocks, and take the time to prepare the meat and braised cabbage. You can choose your own favorite roast potato recipe, but if in doubt, check out our extra-crispy roast potatoes.
Notes: If you have time, prepare the ham hock a day in advance. This will give you plenty of time to let the meat rest in the juices and properly cool before shredding and serving.
4 hours 40 minutes total; 2 hours active (excluding dough prep)
Makes one 12-inch pizza, with enough ham hock to make 6 to 8 pizzas
Ooni pizza oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Pizza Cutter Wheel
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper
heavy-bottomed pan (oven safe)
For the mustard-and honey-grilled ham
1 ⅓ pounds (600 grams) hind ham hock from your local butcher
1 teaspoon (3 grams) whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
6 garlic cloves, whole
13 ½ fluid ounces (400 milliliters) cider (optional, for extra sweetness)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (30 grams) whole grain mustard
2 s hot honey (use this recipe to make your own)
For the miso cabbage
1 head hispi cabbage (green cabbage works fine, too)
1 tablespoon (13 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 grams) dark miso paste (light works, too)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) soy sauce
1 tablespoon (15 grams) salted butter
1 tablespoon (15 grams) hot honey (or regular, if you prefer)
For the parsley cream sauce
3 tablespoons (50 grams) parsley
14 ounces (400 grams) heavy cream (or whipping cream)
juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove
pinch sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
For the toppings
1 ½ to 2 ounces (40 to 60 grams) mozzarella, freshly torn
3 or 4 roast potatoessliced into thick discs
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza stylesbut we think classic pizza dough, biga, sourdoughor neo-Neapolitan would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.
To make the shredded ham hock, take your large pot and add the ham hocks, peppercorns, bay leaf, and garlic. Cover until just submerged in cold water and cider (if using). Bring to a boil, then gently simmer for 2 ½ hours until soft.
Remove the meat carefully with tongs and let it cool. Pat dry and remove most of the fat, leaving a small layer. Score the remaining fat in a criss-cross pattern and coat with sugar, mustard, and honey. Place on a wire rack lined with foil and grill in your conventional oven at medium to high heat for 10 to 15 minutes on each side until it glistens. Wrap in foil and let rest for at least an hour until it’s cooled, then shred into long strips using two forks.
To make the miso cabbage, preheat your conventional oven to 360°F (160°C). Quarter the cabbage, leaving the root intact to keep the leaves from fallingoff). Heat the olive oil in a heavy, oven-safe pan, then place the cabbage quarters flat side down and sear until the edges are charred. Repeat for the other flat sides.
In a small bowl, mix the miso, soy sauce, butter, and honey together. In the pan, generously brush the miso mix over the charred edges. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes so the paste seeps into the leaves.
Finely chop the cabbage into thin strips to dress the pizza. Reserve any leftover juices and scrapings from the pan to drizzle on the pizza just before baking.
To prepare the parsley cream sauce, mix all ingredients in a food processor until the parsley is finely chopped and the consistency of the sauce is thick (it should resemble soft butter). It can be kept in a container in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the pizza, fire up your oven, aiming for 850°F to 950°F (450°C to 500°C) on the baking stone inside. Use an infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the stone.
Place a dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Push the air from the center out to the edge with your fingers. Stretch the dough out to form a 12-inch base, then lay the stretched dough over your lightly floured pizza peel.
Starting in the center and working your way out to the edge, spread 2 tablespoons of parsley cream sauce evenly over the base, leaving ¼ to ½ inch (1 ½ to 2 centimeters) for the crust. Evenly distribute torn mozzarella, shredded ham, sliced roast potatoes, and miso grilled cabbage on top of the sauce. Finish with a drizzle of the leftover liquid from the cabbage. Not overloading the pizza with toppings is key, so take a look at our picture for reference!
Slide the pizza off the peel and into the oven. Cook for 60 to 90 seconds, turning the pizza regularly to ensure an even bake.
Remove the cooked pizza from the oven, slice into 6 pieces, and serve as a delicious St. Patrick’s day treat.