Monday, March 14, 2011

Cabbage and Potatoes - Irish Colcannon Potatoes

A traditional Irish dish of simply seasoned mashed potatoes, mixed with cabbage and butter, Colcannon is a favorite of mine and will soon be a favorite of yours!

A traditional Irish dish of simply seasoned mashed potatoes, mixed with cabbage and butter, Colcannon is a favorite of mine and will soon be a favorite of yours!

Irish Colcannon Potatoes

Well, y'all knew I had to sneak in at least one more dish for St. Patrick's Day, and this dish of Colcannon is a very appropriate one that I've been meaning to add since last year. Easily grown in Ireland, potatoes have always been a mainstay of many Irish diets, and often are the star of the meal. This little ole Irish lass does indeed love her potatoes.

Colcannon, translated literally, means white-headed cabbage, and is really nothing more than very simply seasoned mashed potatoes, mixed with cabbage and butter, it's everything that I happen to love.  Y'all know I had to sneak a little bit of my favorite Cajun seasoning in there too now, didn't ya?

According to Darina Allen, author of Irish Traditional Cooking, where this recipe came from, Colcannon varies by region, and might contain spring, green or Savoy cabbage, or even kale instead of cabbage. Sometimes parsnips, onions or green onion are added.  One thing is for certain, and that is in Ireland, Colcannon is a traditional dish served at Halloween. Often, much like our king cakes at Mardi Gras time down here, a token is buried in the Colcannon - most often a thimble and a ring though the tokens also vary by region. The person lucky enough to find the ring would soon be married, but the person who found the thimble would have the unfortunate fate of a spinster.

So well loved that poems have even been written about it (the Irish do love their poems), Colcannon is traditionally served in a hot dish, with a pat of butter nestled and melting in the center. Ain't a thing wrong with that y'all!

Recipe: Irish Colcannon Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 40 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 pounds baking potatoes (Russet, Idaho, Yukon Gold)
  • 1 small Spring, Green or Savoy cabbage
  • 1 cup of half and half or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of butter

Scrub and boil whole unskinned potatoes in boiling salted water. After about 15 minutes, pour off all but about 1/3 of the water. Cover and steam potatoes over medium heat until completely cooked and tender. Test with a knife. Remove, reserve water and set aside and keep warm.

Core and quarter the cabbage and slice it across the grain. Add to the pot of water the potatoes were cooked in and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, adding additional water if needed; drain.

Add the half and half to the pot and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, skin the potatoes and mash into the hot half and half, along with all but a pat of the butter; beat the potatoes until fluffy. Stir in the drained cabbage and transfer to a hot serving dish with the remaining pat of butter melting in the center.

Note: Can also be made ahead. Mix together (omit butter on top) and transfer to a buttered casserole dish; cover. To reheat, preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and bake covered for about 25 to 30 minutes. Use leftovers to make Tater Cakes.


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©Deep South Dish
Adapted from Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen
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Posted by on March 14, 2011
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  1. ah yes, I love a wee bit of the Colcannon..this is sure to be good. I have made this before I love is pure 100% comfort food...I'll be fixing some up for me family this St.Patty's day...

  2. Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE Colcannon! I've found that St Patty's Day dinner gets expensive here in the South. Maybe not enough Irishmen? Luckily, my girlfriend, nee Bridget Finigan, cooks for us!

  3. How have I never heard of this?!!! I love cabbage and potatoes mixed together.

  4. I made it last year and loved it, promising to have it again soon - but here it is St Patricks day already and I didn't make it a single time.

  5. I have never heard of these but they sure look good! Any time you can add in another vegetable, I'm in! And who doesn't like melted butter on top of anything?! :)

  6. oh this looks good, I'm so glad I'm Irish this week! anne

  7. Now that is one dish that's totally new to me. I like potatoes and I like cabbage, so it must be good.

  8. I would have been disappointed if you hadn't thrown in some of that "slap yo mama" sauce. I've never made this, but know I'd love it. Happy St. Paddy's day to you.

  9. My family loves the cabbage potato combination, whether it's colcannon or bubble and squeak. It is a match made in heaven.

  10. Happy St Patricks Day & Top of the Morning to ya..The Colcannon is pre made for today...looking forward to it. Making a wee bit of Irish Soda bread today to round us off.

  11. An excuse to have mashed potatoes for dinner? Oh yes, please :D This colcannon looks so good. I have a head of cabbage in the fridge that I was planning to make into sauteed cabbage, onions and bacon for dinner tomorrow, but I may need to pick up a bag of potatoes and make this instead!

    1. You know I love the fried cabbage, but this dish is a nice change too!

  12. Whenever I make this, I always add ham to it.

  13. I make this every year for Christmas and I add ham to mine. Yum

  14. I make it by chopping about half of a large sweet onion and finely shredding a small head of cabbage. Melt a cube of butter in a skillet on medium low heat and put the cabbage and onion in the skillet. You don"t want the vegetables to brown at all, you're just sweating them a little. Cook until limp. In the meantime, boil about 6 russet potatoes in salted water and drain when tender all the way through. Mash with cream and season as usual. Stir the cabbage mixture with the melted butter into the mashed potatoes. Serve with ham or bacon (yum).

  15. Oh boy -- this brings back so many memories of my mom's cooking --- HER parents were Scottish and Irish and my Dad's parent were German and French. I was raised on Colcannon, Champ, Noodles and Cabbage (with boiled potato chunks in it), Cabbage Rolls (Momma always called them Pigs in a Blanket .... hot dogs rolled in biscuits were simply hot dogs and biscuits --- not fat enough to be pigs LOL), gravy with biscuits and fried potatoes, too ... but the ONE dish we ate a lot of was what my Momma learned from HER Momma: an old Irish dish she called POTATOES AND POINT. My Daddy came into the kitchen one evening and asked what was for dinner. She answered POTATOES AND POINT. When he asked what THAT was exactly, she said "There are the POTATOES, AND now you POINT to where the meat should be." HAHAHAHAHA Thank goodness potatoes are so versatile! Potatoes and Point could be something different almost every night of the week!

    1. I have heard cabbage rolls called pigs in a blanket before! I like that Potatoes and Point too - sounds just like something my Mama would have said!!

  16. I love Colcannon!Made my first Dublin Coddle last year and kind of combined the 2 of them. Turned out amazing! But the bacon,sausage and butter from the coddle made me feel guilty for eating it! What meat would you serve with the colcannon? Thanks again for sharing, and helping! Marie M. GA

    1. Hi Marie! I just treat it as a potato side dish so any meat that you would serve mashed potatoes with works.

  17. Great recipe Mary! I also made corned beef with carrots and onions. Great St. Patrick's Day meal! Now I just have to figure out how to use all the leftover colcannon. Any suggestions, does it freeze well? Thanks for sharing! Marie M.


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