Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that combines potatoes, cabbage or kale, onion, basic cream/milk and butter. It is also a dish that at one point in time I might have turned my nose up to. Cabbage or kale? Really? Why would you ruin perfectly good mashed potatoes with cabbage? Oh my how I was wrong and I am so glad that I’ve come around to the wonderful world of cabbage. Truth be told, I’ve been on a bit of cabbage kick lately. I’ve finally realized just how flavorful and delicious it can be. (It’s that same cabbage kick that led me to using it for this colcannon, but it’s also delicious (and packed with nutrients) when you use kale instead.)
The flavor and deliciousness of cabbage really shines through in this colcannon recipe. What I like about this particular recipe is that the cabbage is sautéed with butter and onions instead of boiled like in many other recipes. That really enhances the richness of the entire dish, making this the perfect St. Patrick’s day meal side dish. I served mine alongside Beer Braised Beef with Onions (recipe to come!). The old saying about a perfect Irish meal being a six-pack and a potato was given new meaning with that combo!
Which reminds me, are you excited about St. Patrick’s day yet? Just 4 more days away! Do you have any St. Patrick’s day traditions?
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into large chunks*
1/2-3/4 cup milk
3/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, divided (Kerrygold if you can find it!)
1 cup onion, cut into thin 2-inch strips
6 cups green cabbage, shredded or cut into thin 1-2 inch strips
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Additional butter for topping, optional
Optional – if you have access to a good Irish cheddar cheese, like Kerrygold, try adding 1/2-1 cup (shredded)
*I like some potato skins in my colcannon but not a lot, so I leave the skin on half of the potatoes and peel the other half
Add the potatoes to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash with 2 tablespoons of butter, milk, and 3/4 tsp salt (start with 1/2 cup of milk and more as needed to get desired consistency).
While the potatoes are boiling, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes, until very soft. Add the cabbage and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, or until very soft. If you’re using unsalted butter, make sure to season with salt.
Once the cabbage is cooked, add to the mashed potatoes and stir to combine (if using cheddar cheese, add now). Taste and season with additional salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Transfer to serving dish and top with pats of butter.
Adapted from Kerrygold