Recipe for Colcannon
I had decided a while ago that I wanted to share Irish recipes with you all, and not just for stewed cabbage or boiled potatoes, either. But for good Irish food, both classic and modern, that you can make for yourselves, maybe even in months besides March! I was motivated to finally do it today because yesterday, when hubby and I were at the grocery store, we bought the ingredients for colcannon, a delightful and delicious classic Irish dish that is easy and cheap to make and really fills up the family. Because it is a classic dish, you can easily just google the recipe and find a lot! But I’ll go ahead and share mine.
First, a few notes about Irish cuisine. Yes, they do eat a lot of potatoes. They really do. Second, they have access to wonderful, fresh ingredients and modern Irish cuisine takes full advantage of fresh butter, fresh cream, marvelous pork and fish and beef and lamb, rich cheeses, and crusty bread. Okay, I’ve got to stop. My mouth is watering. Third, the Irish cut of bacon is more what we here in America would consider ham, just a bit fattier ham. So they’re kind of interchangeable in recipes because you can’t get that particular cut here unless you buy it in a specialty shop and that can be expensive. So use either, or a combination if you are so inclined, for this recipe.
This particular version of this recipe is from Food Network and the first one I’ve seen that has meat in it, but as I said, there are a lot out there with variations on some of the ingredients so if this doesn’t suit you, feel free to look for another one. But try it! I bet your whole family will enjoy this comfort food.
- 3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 1/4 cups hot milk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head cabbage cored and shredded
- 1 (1-pound) piece ham or bacon, cooked
- 4 green onions, finely chopped (or leeks if you prefer)
- Chopped parsley for garnish, if desired.
Steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes by putting them in a metal colander above boiling water. This worked really well for me, and I was able to find a lid to cover the whole contraption. Peel them using a knife and fork. Careful, they’re really hot at this point. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.
The instant you take the potatoes off the boiling water, throw your cabbage into it. Boil in the unsalted water until it turns a darker green, showing it’s cooked. This won’t take long at all, so watch it carefully. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan and then chop the shreds into small pieces.
While the cabbage is boiling, heat up the ham or bacon by putting it in a pan with a little bit of hot water and boiling it, too, until it’s nice and hot and you’re ready to use it. Drain off the water. Remove any chunks of fat and chop into small pieces.
Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.
Serve in individual bowls or plates. Make an indentation on the top with a spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley (if you’re using it) and serve right away.