Colcannon Is the One Recipe I Make Every March (2024)

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Meghan Splawn

Meghan Splawn

Meghan was the Food Editor for Kitchn's Skills content. She's a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting — both time and money — and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown's culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn't I Just Feed You.

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Jan Valdez

Jan Valdez

updated Mar 13, 2024

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Learn how to make colcannon — a classic Irish side dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage dressed with browned butter.

Serves4 to 6

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If you love creamy mashed potatoes, you’ll love colcannon, a traditional Irish dish. Keeping with tradition, we didn’t mess with the potatoes or cabbage, but swapped the plain melted butter that is typically served in a pool on top for fragrant browned butter. We just couldn’t help ourselves! The nutty browned butter is a wonderful warm contrast to the sharp green onions that get scattered before serving, giving this dish an easy, elegant twist.

Irish mashed potatoes and cabbage is both decadent and homey. Colcannon the perfect partner for sausages and a pint of beer. It’s also just as good at the family dinner table as a side for corned beef or baked ham. For breakfast, it’s the perfect bed for your Saturday fried eggs. Here’s how to make it this comforting dish.

What Is Colcannon?

Colcannon is an Irish dish made from potatoes and greens. Kale or cabbage are most often used in partnership with green onions or leeks. The Irish often serve colcannon at Halloween, hiding a thimble, a ring, and small prizes inside. There’s also a traditional Irish song based on the dish – “Colcannon” – that describes this dish perfectly:

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?

There really isn’t one way to make colcannon, so it comes as no surprise there’s a saying that there are as many versions of colcannon as there are Irishmen. One of our favorite versions is this twice-baked colcannon potatoes recipe.

Why You’ll Love It

  • We use two types of potatoes. A combination of russet and red potatoes makes this mash hearty without becoming too heavy.
  • Browned butter sets this version apart. The brown butter glazes the cabbage as it cooks and then dresses the whole dish like a sauce with very little extra effort from the cook.

Key Ingredients in Colcannon

  • Potatoes: We use a combination of Russet potatoes and red potatoes. Russet potatoes are the best potatoes for mashing because they’re starchy and fluffy.Red potatoes are waxier, which gives the mash some texture.
  • Cabbage: Usesavoy cabbagefor tenderness and texture. Its deep green hue also makes the dish more colorful.
  • Green onions: Use both the white and green parts of green onions.
  • Butter: We brown the butter, which elevates this colcannon from an everyday dish to something extraordinary.

How to Make Colcannon

  1. Boil the potatoes. Place the Russet and red potatoes in a pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Brown the butter. Melt the butter in a skillet, then simmer and cook until it browns and smells nutty. Pour off 1/4 cup of the browned butter into a small heatproof bowl and set aside.
  3. Cook the cabbage. Cook the cabbage in the skillet until tender and lightly browned. Set aside.
  4. Mash the potatoes.Drain the potatoes and return them to the cooking pot. Add the milk and mash with a potato masher.
  5. Deglaze the skillet. Add the chicken broth to the skillet, scrape to remove any browned bits, and cook until the broth is reduced.
  6. Putting it all together. Add the warm cabbage to the mashed potatoes and fold to combine. Gently stir in the reduced chicken broth. Transfer the colcannon to a large serving bowl, make a well in the middle of the potatoes, and pour the reserved 1/4 cup brown butter on top.

What to Serve with Colcannon

  • Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
  • Lamb Chops
  • Baked Ham
  • Roast Chicken
  • Roast Leg of Lamb

You can turn the leftovers into hash or a skillet potato pancake, sort of like a very Irish Bubble and Squeak. Top it with sunny-side-up eggs for a hearty breakfast.

Storage Tips

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Comments

Colcannon (Irish Potatoes and Cabbage) Recipe

Learn how to make colcannon — a classic Irish side dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage dressed with browned butter.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1 pound

    red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 6 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1

    small head savoy cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and shredded

  • 4

    medium green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced and separated

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/4 cup

    low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

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  1. Place the russet and red potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, brown the butter.

  2. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet (preferable something with a lightly colored interior) over medium-high heat. Bring the butter to a simmer and cook until it browns and smells nutty, about 7 minutes. Pour off 1/4 cup of the browned butter into a small heatproof bowl and set aside.

  3. Return the pan with the remaining browned butter to medium heat and add the cabbage and the whites of the green onions. The pan will be quite full, but the cabbage will wilt, making stirring easier. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

  4. Drain the potatoes and return them to the cooking pot. Add the milk and mash with a potato masher. The potatoes should retain a few small lumps for texture.

  5. Add the chicken broth to the cabbage pan and scrape vigorously to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the broth is reduced, about 3 minutes more.

  6. Add the warm cabbage and greens of the green onions to the mashed potatoes and fold to combine. Gently stir in the reduced chicken broth. Transfer the colcannon to a large serving bowl and make a well in the middle of the potatoes. Pour the reserved 1/4 cup brown butter into the well and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Filed in:

dinner

Gluten-Free

greens

How To

Ingredient

irish

Colcannon Is the One Recipe I Make Every March (2024)
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