What I love about these peasant dishes like Colcannon is that, because they were born of what was on hand, variation was the mother of necessity in terms of using what you had. And I would assume that the variation of kale vs. cabbage came about in this way. Of course, no one knows that for sure, but I think no matter which way you prepare it, you’ll have happy people digging into this hearty and delicious dish.
For those purists out there, have no fear. I’ve included below the original recipe used by my family, and demanded by my brother each year.
Traditional Irish Colcannon:
- 4 lbs. white potatoes
- 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 3 cups finely sliced green cabbage
- 3 tbsp. minced onions
- 3 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- 2 tbsp. milk
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel & quarter the potatoes. Place them in a saucepan, and cover with water by 1 inch. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and mash them.
- Meanwhile, cook cabbage in 1 inch of water until tender. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to the water.
- Saute onions in 1 1/2 tbsp. of the butter until soft.
- Combine onions with potatoes, drained cabbage, pepper & milk. Beat until smooth
- Pour potato & cabbage mixture into cooking spray-coated dish, and dot with remaining butter. Bake 15 minutes; serve immediately.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from me, and from Jeff!