Irish Mashed Potatoes – Colcannon

Irish Mashed Potatoes – Colcannon

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Irish Mashed Potatoes – Colcannon is the perfect side dish for your Saint Patrick’s Day Supper. It goes well with Bangers and Mash, Corned Beef, Pot Roast, or even Irish Stew. Creamy Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes mixed with bacon, braised cabbage, and lots of butter.

I had never heard of Colcannon until a year ago. As a family who loves cabbage, this recipe was soon to become a hit. The name is derived from a Gaelic term “cal ceannann,” or white-headed cabbage. Back in the 1600’s, cabbage, potatoes, and leeks (or onions) were considered food for the common man. It was cheap, easy to come by, and could fill hungry stomachs. It still does today. View Recipes with Cabbage Here.

Serve Colcannon in a Large Serving Bowl

Apparently, this dish was first mentioned in 1735 in William Bulkeley’s diary of his visit to Wales. Colcannon is often served near Halloween, with little charms hidden inside, said to predict the future of those dining on it. Hmmm. The Irish and their superstitions, right?

As a side note, another dish very similar to Colcannon is Bubbles and Squeak, an English version that is fried and may also include bits of corned beef. Sounds pretty good. Be sure to check the bottom of this post for this additional step!

 

Ingredients for Irish Mashed Potatoes – Colcannon

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes (7-8 medium-sized potatoes)
  • cold water
  • butter, divided (use Kerry Gold, if desired)
  • milk
  • cabbage
  • sweet onion
  • dried green onions (or fresh)
  • garlic, optional
  • bacon
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

A Note on Potatoes and Onions

When choosing potatoes to mash, it’s best to go with one that has plenty of starch, which will help produce a creamy dish. I decided on Yukon Gold for their color and buttery flavor, which have a medium starch level. You might also try Russet potatoes.

Use Fresh or Dried Green Onions

If you have fresh green onions, please use them. I happened to have a container of dried green onions, so I used that along with chopped sweet onions.

Mince the garlic, if desired. This step is optional. If you’re a fan of garlic, go for it!

 

Instructions for Making this Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Using a sharp paring knife, cube the Yukon Gold potatoes.

I always leave the skin on my mashed potatoes for the added nutritional value. But if you’d prefer to peel your potatoes, please do so. Your choice!

Shred the cabbage with a Chef’s knife and cutting board. Dice the sweet onion (or fresh green onions if you have them.)

 

Cook the Potatoes

Cover Cubed Potatoes with Water to Boil

Place the cubed potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low. Cover and continue to cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Drain potatoes in a colander, then return to the saucepan.

Optionally, you may use 2-3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes. Simply warm them in the microwave before adding the bacon and cabbage to them.

 

Prepare the Bacon and Cabbage

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the bacon. Place bacon in a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Transfer bacon to drain on paper towels. When cooled, break into small pieces.

Saute Cabbage and Onion in Skillet with Butter and Bacon Grease

In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bacon grease and heat on medium heat. Saute shredded cabbage, diced onions, and minced garlic until tender and translucent, about 7-10 minutes.

 

Mash and Combine Ingredients

Add the milk and two tablespoons butter to the drained potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until creamy. It’s okay if they have a few lumps. I like lumps in my mashed potatoes.

Add Sauted Cabbage, Bacon, and Green Onion to the Mashed Potatoes

Fold in the cabbage mixture, bacon, and dried green onions, mixing to incorporate. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Create a hole in the center and add the remaining butter.

I love adding butter to the center of mashed potatoes, and I always try to include some of the melted butter with a serving of potatoes. So yummy. 

Serving Colcannon with Irish Bangers

Transfer potatoes to a large serving bowl. Serve warm with corned beef, Irish bangers, or pot roast. This recipe will serve 6-8 people.

 

Additional Steps to Make Bubbles and Squeak

Traditionally, Bubbles and Squeak is made from leftover mashed potatoes or in this case “Colcannon.” It apparently got its name from the noise it makes when it cooks in the skillet. If you’ll listen while it cooks, you’ll find that this is indeed, true. 

To turn this dish into an English side, simply spoon mounds of this potato dish to a large hot skillet with 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil, butter, or a combination of both.

Alternately, you may spread the potatoes to the sides of the skillet for one big “cake” but I found turning it considerably more difficult than individual mounds.

Cook on medium-high for 10-12 minutes, turning 3-4 times until the tops and bottoms are nicely browned with a crispy edge. Be sure to press the mounds down with a spatula or spurtle to ensure even browning.

While this dish already includes cooked bacon, you might also include pieces of leftover corned beef, or diced ham to the skillet to cook before adding the potatoes. Bubbles and Squeak would make an excellent addition to a breakfast with eggs and toast.

See more Irish Recipes Here. View Side Dishes Here. Browse Breakfast Ideas Here. 

 

Recipe for Irish Mashed Potatoes - Colcannon

Irish Mashed Potatoes - Colcannon

Irish Mashed Potatoes – Colcannon is the perfect side dish for your Saint Patrick’s Day Supper. It goes well with Bangers and Mash, Corned Beef, Pot Roast, or even Irish Stew. Creamy Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes mixed with bacon, braised cabbage, and lots of butter.
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Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: English, Irish
Keyword: Bacon, Bubbles and Squeak, Cabbage, Yukon Gold Potatoes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Cutting Board
Knife Set
Cuisinart Cookware
Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients

  • 8 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 3 cups cold water or enough to cover
  • 6 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried green onions or 1/2 cup fresh green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic optional
  • 5 slices thick sliced bacon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a sharp paring knife, cube the Yukon Gold potatoes.
  • Shred the cabbage with a Chef's knife and cutting board.
    Dice the sweet onion (or fresh green onions if you have them.)

Cook the Potatoes

  • Place the cubed potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low. Cover and continue to cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes in a colander, then return to the saucepan.
  • Optionally, you may use 2-3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes. Simply warm them in the microwave before adding the bacon and cabbage to them.

Cook Bacon and Cabbage

  • While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the bacon. Place bacon in a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Transfer bacon to drain on paper towels. When cooled, break into small pieces.
  • In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bacon grease and heat on medium heat. Saute shredded cabbage, diced onions, and minced garlic until tender and translucent, about 7-10 minutes.

Mash and Combine Ingredients

  • Add the milk and another 2 tablespoons of butter to the drained potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until creamy. It's okay if they have a few lumps.
  • Fold in the cabbage mixture, fried bacon pieces, and dried green onions, mixing until incorporated. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Create a hole in the center and add the remaining butter.
  • Transfer potatoes to a large serving bowl. Serve warm with corned beef, Irish bangers, or pot roast. Serves 6-8.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter on this recipe site is salted.
**Additional Steps to Make Bubbles and Squeak
To turn this dish into an English side, spoon mounds of leftover potatoes to a large hot skillet with 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil, butter, or a combination of both.
Cook on medium-high for 10-12 minutes, turning 3-4 times until the tops and bottoms are nicely browned with a crispy edge. Be sure to press the mounds down with a spatula or spurtle to ensure even browning. Serve warm with eggs and toast.

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 317IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg
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