Beef and pork are proteins traditionally paired with boiled cabbage. Boiled bacon and cabbage is a traditional Irish dish. Vietnamese boiled cabbage is paired with hard-cooked eggs.
In FoodNetwork.com's recipe for corned beef and cabbage, the beef and cabbage are boiled together in a single pot. Place corned beef in an 8-quart pot with 3 quarts of water, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon allspice, 2 bay leaves and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Add 1/2 pound each of diced carrots and onions, 1 pound diced potatoes and 1/4 pound diced celery. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, then add 1 chopped head of cabbage and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
EuropeanCuisines.com's recipe for Irish boiled bacon and cabbage uses a similar method. Instead of corned beef, the recipe calls for 2 1/2 pounds of pork "collar of bacon," shoulder butt, or an equivalent cut. The meat must be brined for at least 48 hours before boiling.
To make Vietnamese boiled cabbage, hard boil one egg, then boil 1/2 or 1/4 of a head of coarsely chopped cabbage until tender. Mash 1/2 of a hard boiled egg with fish sauce to taste. Serve the dish with rice.