Thursday, March 15, 2012

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with traditional Irish Colcannon

You've gotta eat something green on St. Patrick’s Day, everybody knows that. At our house, we celebrate with the most delicious Irish food of all time, colcannon.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of potatoes mashed with chopped kale, leeks and lots and lots of butter. No drizzling here. The name of the dish comes from the Gaelic “cal ceannann'” which means “whiteheaded cabbage.” Hopefully someone in your family will be repulsed by the name, leaving more colcannon for you!

Colcannon is also associated with Halloween, known as Samhain in Ireland. Believers have been known to put a plate of buttered colcannon by the front door for the fairies and ghosts to eat on Samhain. If you tried that in Brooklyn you’d probably get a herd of cats at your doorstep, but I'll leave that to your discretion.


Serves: 6-8

1 lb. cabbage and/or kale, cooked until tender
1 lb. potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled until tender
2 leeks, cleaned well and chopped (or green onions, in a pinch)
1 c. whole milk
1/2 c. butter, melted
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of ground mace

1. Boil the kale or cabbage in lightly salted water until tender. Drain well and squeeze the water out. Chop.
2. Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add the leeks and cook gently until soft.
3. Cook and drain the potatoes, add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of mace. Mash up and mix the potatoes but don’t overbeat them or they will get gluey!
4. Return the potatoes to the pot over a low flame.
5. Add in the milk and leeks.
6. Mix in the cooked kale or cabbage – the potatoes should be fluffy.
7. Remove from heat and serve: Make a well in the middle of each portion and fill with melted butter, dividing it equally among the servings. 
8. Dip each bite of colcannon in butter before eating. 

"What butter and whiskey won't cure, there is no cure for." - Irish saying


  1. This looks so yummy. I wish St. Patricks Day was a weekend and not just a day. lol

  2. Me too, Pam! Any excuse to eat spuds!