It’s said that the vast cabbage fields found along the Appalachian borders of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee were started by the region’s original Scotch Irish settlers, but it took the modern-day culinary pioneer Bill Neal, owner/chef of
Remove and discard any outer blemished leaves of the cabbage, cut the head into quarters, and cut out the hard core. Pour the water into a large pot, add the bacon and the pepper pod, and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage quarters, boil 15 minutes, refresh under cold water, and drain, discarding the pepper pod and reserving the bacon. Chop the cabbage roughly, squeeze it with your hands to remove all excess moisture, and reserve in a large bowl.
In a bowl, combine the milk, eggs, salt, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, whisk till well blended, and pour over the cabbage. Dice the cooked bacon, combine in a small bowl with the bread cubes and thyme, and toss.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of a buttered
To serve, invert the pudding onto a platter and cut into rough slices. Serve hot.
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