Colcannon is an Irish dish of boiled, mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage or kale and flavored with leeks, shallots or onions, cream or milk and butter.
Not only is it delicious but it's a great way to get extra veggies in your diet. If you're like me and still like to play with your food, you can shape it into four leaf clovers with the back of a teaspoon!
It is wonderful served family style as well,
or topped with boneless, lightly breaded and fried pork chops. We had this for dinner a little over a week ago and everyone loved it, except for Ashton. I'm sure it would be perfect with corned beef!
Colcannon is a word derived from the Gaelic cal ceannann' which literally means white headed cabbage. Colcannon's earliest reference dates to 1735 when a William Bulkely of Bryndda made two trips to Dublin at that time. The potato and cabbage dish was introduced to England in the 18th century and became a favorite among the upper classes.
Irish tradition associates Colcannon with Halloween festivities where it was used as a purpose of marriage divination. A charm would be hidden in a bowl of colcannon as portents of marriage proposal should an unmarried girl be lucky enough to find it. Others would fill their socks with a spoonful of colcannon and hang it from the door handle, believing that the first man through the door would become their future husband. Hmmm...don't know about that one. I'd hate to wear those socks...or wash them!
1 1/2 lbs chopped cabbage or about 2 10 oz bags
8 medium potatoes (about 2 lbs)
1 1/3 cup milk
1 cup butter divided
1 pinch ground mace
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chives or green onions for garnish
Boil cabbage until tender, drain and set aside, covered to keep warm.
Chop leeks from the whites up to the dark green leaves (don't use those) and put in a skillet. Pour milk over and simmer, covered, until tender. Stir occasionally to keep milk from scalding.
Peel and boil potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with 1/2 cup butter, a pinch of mace and salt and pepper (I salt and pepper liberally with this dish). Stir in cabbage, leek and milk mixture. Traditionally this is served by making well in individual servings, filling the well with a little melted butter. Sprinkle with chives or green onions.
Colcannon can also be made with a little ham or bacon chopped up and added to the mixture. Topped with cheese, and then baked, it is extra yummy!