Irish cuisine - Mashed potato

Easy Irish Colcannon

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. It is, in my opinion, a delicious comfort food. It's creamy and versatile, which makes it the perfect side dish for an array of entrees.

An Irish Halloween tradition is to serve colcannon with a ring and a thimble hidden in the dish. Prizes of small coins such as threepenny or sixpenny bits were also concealed inside the dish.

According to Wikipedia, the origin of the word is unclear. The first syllable ‘col' is likely derived from the Irish ‘cál' meaning cabbage. The second syllable may derive from ‘ceann-fhionn' meaning a white head (i.e. ‘a white head of cabbage')

Colcannon consists of four simple ingredients: butter, cream/milk, potatoes and cabbage (or kale). However, you can add shallots, scallions, green onions, bacon, salt pork or even cheese to this traditional dish for a flavor twist.

The song “Colcannon”, also called “The Skillet Pot”, is a traditional Irish song that has been recorded by numerous artists, including Mary Black. It begins:

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

Colcannon by Mary Black

Easy Irish Colcannon

Waldorf salad - Colcannon

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 head Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1/4 C butter, softened
  • 1/2 C half and half
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the potatoes, cabbage, and green onions into a large sauce pan, fill with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the vegetables and place into a large bowl. Mash the potatoes and vegetables with the butter using a fork until the mixture is chunky, pouring in half-and-half gradually as you mash. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

If you, like my son, prefer your potatoes more smooth rather than chunky, use a hand mixer to blend them instead.

Try this dish out with some bacon or salt pork added, or maybe some cheese and garlic. Traditionally, this dish is made without the added salt or spices we use in America, but you can put your own spin in it to please your family.

Easy Irish Colcannon

Course: Sides, MainCuisine: Irish
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

A traditional Irish potato and cabbage dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 1 head Cabbage

  • 1 bunch Green Onions

  • 1/4 C Butter, softened

  • 1/2 C half and half

  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Place the potatoes, cabbage, and green onions into a large sauce pan, fill with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Drain the vegetables and place into a large bowl.
  • Mash the potatoes and vegetables with the butter using a fork until the mixture is chunky, pouring in half-and-half gradually as you mash.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Notes

  • If you, like my son, prefer your potatoes more smooth rather than chunky, use a hand mixer to blend them instead.
  • Try this dish out with some bacon or salt pork added, or maybe some cheese and garlic.
  • Traditionally, this dish is made without the added salt or spices we use in America, but you can put your own spin in it to please your family.

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