Saturday, March 15, 2014

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

My proud Irish family enjoys a traditional St. Patty's Day dinner every year, lovingly made by my Flanagan mother. It includes Corned Beef & Cabbage, Shanagarry Salad, warm Irish Soda Bread with rhubarb jam, and roasted carrots & parsnips. As well as my favorite St. Patrick's Day side dish of all, Colcannon!

Colcannon is not "light" by any means, but on St. Patrick's Day I allow myself to eat it with little thought as to my thighs or middle. It's an Irish tradition to mix one gold coin (or gold ring) into the potatoes before plating. Whoever finds the coin in their serving is said to have Good Luck all the year through! If it's a ring you find, it's said you will be married within the year.

3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups hot milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Peel potatoes and boil until fork tender. Chop with a knife before mashing. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.

Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it.
Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly and chop into small pieces.
Add the cabbage, scallions, and chopped bacon to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.

When you plate the Colcannon, make an indentation on the top by swirling a spoon, and put 1 tablespoon of butter into the indentation and let melt. Sprinkle with parsley. ENJOY!

Hope your day is a HOOLEY!

(Green Beer is for Wussies!)

Other St. Patrick's Day posts you might enjoy:

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