A traditional Irish mashed potato dish, Colcannon is a hearty and comfort food classic in Ireland.
Colcannon is a year-round staple side dish, although it also makes special appearances at holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day, and most especially at Halloween where sneaky chefs conceal lucky charms or coins within its body.
Traditionally Colcannon most often incorporates cabbage or kale into the mashed potatoes.
So loved is Colcannon that it has inspired a traditional Irish song by its own name or by the name, “The Skillet Pot,” and has been recorded by many artists.
“Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?”
“Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.”
Click here to hear Mary Black sing this tune on YouTube.
Traditional Irish Colcannon
Ingredients to serve about 4:
4 russet potatoes (Yukon Gold potatoes work well too)
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup whole milk or fat-free half and half
1/2 small green cabbage or small bunch kale, shredded
4 scallions, sliced diagonally
salt and pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks and place into a large saucepan. Cover with water and add salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook about 15 or 20 minutes or until fork tender.
Remove potatoes from the simmering water and put into a bowl, and add the shredded cabbage and scallions to the simmering water. Allow to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, mash potatoes with a hand masher, add salt, pepper (to taste), butter and milk until desired consistency. Then add drained cabbage or kale and scallions. Stir well until light and fluffy. Serve immediately.