Colcannon (Irish recipe for St. Patrick’s Day)

An instructional video is at the bottom of this recipe.

Colcannon is an Irish classic.  They’ve been eating it for centuries.  Normally it’s a mixture of mashed potatoes and kale that would commonly be eaten with pork.  But in my version, the kale gets replaced with red cabbage, and I mix the pork right in.  In this recipe I use bacon, but pork belly or jowl or even ham can be substituted beautifully.

2 1/2 pounds potatoes (I use russet), skin on, sliced 1″ thick
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt

Cook the potatoes however you like.  I put them in my pressure cooker with 1 cup of water at 15psi for 8 minutes, but you can boil them, steam them, put them in the microwave…any cooking method is fine.  You want them tender, but not mushy. When cooked, add:

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Mash with a fork, masher, or put the potatoes through a ricer before adding the dairy.  You may need to add additional cream depending on how dry your potatoes are.  It shouldn’t be a desert, but it shouldn’t be a swamp.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  In a big skillet, cook:

12-16 oz pork (bacon, jowl, belly, ham, etc.)

Cook until the fat is rendered the meat is crispy.  Remove it from the pan, leaving the fat in the pan.  Then add:

1 head red cabbage, chopped

Salt the cabbage as you stir to coat with the fat.  It will reduce by at least half in the first few minutes of cooking.  After a couple of minutes, add:

2 Tablespoons vinegar (I use apple cider)

Stir and cook another minute or so.  Then add the cooked cabbage to the mashed potatoes along with the previously cooked bacon and:

1 bunch green onions (scallions), sliced

Fold everything together until well mixed, and taste for final seasoning.

Colcannon tastes best after sitting for a bit in the fridge, and is twice as good the next day.  I like to use leftover Colcannon to stuff omelets, or press them into cakes and saute in butter for something like latkes.  DELICIOUS!


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