Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, I wanted to share a recipe for colcannon, which is a traditional Irish potato dish. Out of all of the Irish food, this is definitely one of the healthier options to make. As much as I love mashed potatoes, my family tends to get tired of the same old mashed potatoes made with salt, pepper, milk and butter. That’s why it’s fun to make colcannon once in awhile and what better day to do that than on an Irish holiday?
Even if you don’t usually eat Irish food, you can’t really go wrong with this recipe because it’s simply creamy mashed potatoes loaded with cabbage, green onions and even some ham if you really want to get fancy and splurge. A little Irish history for those who are curious, the word “colcannon” means “white-head cabbage,” which is very fitting for this dish. Cabbage is the star ingredient! If you are not a fan of cabbage, I would recommend using kale as a substitute. Kale has a bit more nutritional value than cabbage anyway and has anti-inflammatory properties so it definitely makes a great alternative. The texture is also pretty similar but the kale of course is a bit more “leafy green” tasting.
Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes and Cabbage)
- 4-6 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 cups of chopped cabbage or kale
- 1/2 cup of sliced green onions (including the white part)
- 1 cup milk or heavy cream (for a lighter, dairy-free version, use dairy-free milk like the Lactaid brand)
- Salt to taste
- About 3 pieces of Ham
- 5-6 tbsp unsalted butter
- Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes and add in a pinch or two of salt to the boiling water.
- While the potatoes are boiling, add some olive oil to a saucepan and cook the ham on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until the ham is heated through.
- Once the ham is cooked, cut it up into thin, small strips and set aside.
- Next, add the butter to the saucepan and cook the cabbage or kale for about 3-4 minutes, until they are wilted and have given off some of their water.
- Once the cabbage or kale is wilted, add the green onions to the pan and cook for about 1 more minute.
- Once the potatoes are done cooking, mash them with a potato masher and pour in the milk or cream. Once the milk or cream is mixed into the potatoes, add the cooked greens and ham into the potatoes and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
See how simple this recipe is? The greens really add a nice texture to the mashed potatoes and the ham just takes things to a whole new level! The Irish clearly know how to enjoy serve up the tastiest mashed potatoes!