Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. I make this dish only once a year — on St. Patrick’s Day. There was one year where I decided to make something different (i.e. less fattening) for a change and almost had the family in revolt. As my daughter, Spunky said, “We only get to eat this once a year! Don’t take it away!” Needless to say, I never made that mistake again.
When I originally learned to make this dish, I was taught to serve it with a whole cup of melted butter! You mounded the Colcannon in your serving bowl, then made a little well on top that you filled with the melted butter just before serving. It looked like a little volcano. I’ve since altered the recipe by cutting the butter down to 4 tablespoons which I just stir into the whole pot. You’re already using the bacon grease so I don’t think the large amount of additional butter is necessary, but you’re welcome to try it the original way if you feel adventurous. Either way, it’s delicious!
- 12-14 medium yellow or red potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks (you could leave the potatoes unpeeled, if desired)
- 1 pkg. bacon, cut in half-inch pieces
- 1 small or 1/2 medium head of green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 tbsp. butter or margarine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 stalks green onion, chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Place potatoes in a stockpot, fill with just enough water to cover, and boil until potatoes are tender. Drain very well.
- While potatoes are boiling, fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove crispy bacon from skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, fry the cabbage in the bacon grease until tender.
- Mash the potatoes, leaving them still a little chunky.
- Stir in milk, margarine, bacon, and cabbage. If mixture seems too dry, add more milk, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Depending on how salty your bacon is, you may not need to add any salt at all.)
- Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with chopped green onion, if desired.