Saturday, March 16, 2013


Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish consisting of mashed potatoes with either cooked cabbage or kale.  There are versions that also add green onions, or if you add those and leave out the cabbage then it's called champ--just to confuse things even further... Either way, it's delicious and the perfect accompaniment to Irish Beef and Guinness Stew, and Killian's Irish Brown Bread (named after one of our beloved Golden Retrievers).

Though I generally don't follow an actual recipe when I make Colcannon, for the sake of giving some proportions, I also referred to "Irish Traditional Cooking", by Darina Allen (though I've adapted her method a bit).  She runs the Ballymaloe Cooking School in County Cork and is considered to be the authority on traditional Irish food.  This is sooooo good with the stew, but should you have any leftover you can make it into potato cakes the next day.  Just make them into nice small, flat shapes and fry them up in a bit of butter until nicely browned on both sides. Heaven for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

One year ago: Cheater's Pavlova, Cuban Rice "Moros y Cristianos"
Two years ago: Balsamic Asparagus with Parmesan, Paprika Shrimp Pasta 

 what you'll need:

Serves 8

2 1/2- 3 lbs. potatoes
1 small cabbage (I used the smaller Savoy--the other one was  so gorgeous I just wanted to photograph it!)
1-1/2 cups milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 stick of butter (or so)

Peel and cut up the potatoes into uniform pieces.  Put them into a large pot, cover with salted water and cook until tender. (Ms. Allen has you cook them whole in their jackets, pouring off 2/3 of the water halfway through, then steaming until tender and peeling them when they're hot.  Just so you know.

While the potatoes are cooking, quarter and core the cabbage.  Slice thinly crosswise and cook in salted water until tender.  Drain well, then add salt, pepper and a Tbsp. or so of butter.  Set aside.

Bring milk to a gentle simmer in a pot or in a microwaveable cup.

When the potatoes are tender, drain well then mash quickly and add in enough milk to make a fluffy-ish puree.  (Ms. Allen says fluffy; I'm not sure it's really what I'd call fluffy).  Stir in about the same volume of cooked cabbage and taste for seasoning, adding in more salt and pepper as needed.

Serve immediately with a big pat of butter melting nicely in the middle, or with a nice big ladleful of Beef and Guinness Stew. If you need to make it ahead, Ms. Allen recommends reheating it in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Erin go bragh!

One year ago: Cheater's Pavlova, Cuban Rice "Moros y Cristianos"
Two years ago: Balsamic Asparagus with Parmesan, Paprika Shrimp Pasta 

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