Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I believe that Colcannon is a great way to enjoy cabbage, whether you're a fan of it or not. Because what could be better than folding the vegetable into buttery, rich and creamy mashed potatoes? So if you’re looking for a potato dish to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, or really on any day of the week, look no further.
Colcannon is no harder than making mashed potatoes. Start by peeling a few large potatoes. Cut the potatoes in to cubes (the smaller the cubes, the less time they will take to cook), and cover them in a pot with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender.

While that's going on, prep the rest of the veggies. Cut up one head of cabbage. The size of the cabbage pieces can vary depending on your own preference. Mine were on the bigger side, but I'm a huge cabbage fan. It would be equally tasty to chop the cabbage real fine so that it's spread throughout the mashed potatoes in little tiny bites.
Next up are the leeks. It's important to clean leeks thoroughly, because they tend to get lots of dirt trapped inside of them. The best way I've found is to slice them up and then throw them in a bowl of cold water and swish them around a little bit.
Let the leeks hang out in the water for about ten minutes. All the dirt should fall to the bottom and then you can lift the clean leeks out with a strainer.
Voila! Clean leeks! The leeks and cabbage get simmered in some milk and butter for about 15 minutes until nice and tender.

Once the potatoes are cooked, they can be either mashed, or passed through a ricer. I must admit that I'm usually pretty lazy when it comes to mashed potatoes, and I only use the ricer when it's a smaller batch. Because as you can see, my ricer doesn't fit very many potatoes at one time.
The ricer passes the potatoes through tiny little holes, which reminds me of playing with Play-Doh when I was a kid. These tiny little shreds of potato though, create perfectly smooth mashed potatoes. I wouldn't consider a ricer a necessity by any means, but it's maybe something to look in to if your a mashed potato connoisseur.

After the potatoes are mashed or riced, the cabbage, leek and milk mixture gets added in. Once mixed together it creates a tasty mash-up of creamy potatoes with bites here and there of delicious buttery veggies. A great way to get your cabbage in for this Irish holiday.
Adapted from here, and here.

3 large russet potatoes
1 head cabbage, trimmed, pale-green leaves finely shredded (about 4 cups)
1 leek, pale-green and white parts only, cut into 1/2-inch dice (on how to clean, see notes above)
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Coarse salt

Peel the potatoes, cut them into 1-inch pieces, and place in a medium saucepan; add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Mash with a potato masher or pass through a ricer; cover pan to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine cabbage, leek, milk, and 2 tablespoons butter; season with salt. Cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage and leek is soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Stir into potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.


  1. you had me at potatoes and cabbage...definately adding this to the list of foods to eat tomorrow night. thanks for making me drool!

  2. You're welcome! Glad to know there's another cabbage fan out there!

  3. This is a really ancient dish - and it can be made with turnips instead of potatoes. It is really simple and very very tasty.


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