My Colcannon recipe combines rich and creamy mashed potatoes with Savoy cabbage, sweet leeks, and a touch of garlic. Drizzle the top with melted Irish butter and dig in for an easy addition to your St. Patrick’s Day feast!
This time last year, I’d never tasted colcannon. I had heard about this Irish potato dish so many times, and somehow, St. Patrick’s Day came and went every year without any colcannon on my table. As someone who’s weak in the face of good mashed potatoes, I’m not sure how this trend persisted for so long. When I finally made a batch last year, I was fiercely annoyed with myself for having waited. To channel my inner 90’s teenager, these potatoes are seriously “all that.” I’ve made colcannon several times since, testing a couple of different flavor variations. This recipe, with sautéed Savoy cabbage and leeks, has become our favorite. It’s amazing alongside corned beef, roasted lamb, or any stout-braised meat. I’m not sure I can ever have another St. Patrick’s Day feast without it!
Recipes for colcannon (Irish for “white-speckled cabbage”) vary by region and cook. Most recipes combine the potatoes with kale, and/or cabbage. The first colcannon recipe I tried was a traditional kale-cabbage mixture. The vegetables brought a bit of a rustic texture to the potatoes and the contrast was downright delicious. As I’ve shared many times before on the blog, I’m something of a leek fiend, so exploring a leek colcannon variation was high on my list. In the end, the combination of sweet leeks with the tender cabbage and ultra-creamy potatoes won my heart. Many traditional colcannon recipes call for boiling the vegetables with the potatoes until tender, while variations utilize a sautéing or pan-roasting method. After having tried both, I prefer to sauté the vegetables. The caramelization that both the cabbage and leeks develop bring such a wonderful depth of flavor to the otherwise blank canvas of the mashed potatoes.
If there’s one element of colcannon that’s consistent across recipes (aside from potatoes, of course), it’s butter, and plenty of it! In this recipe, butter is both incorporated into the potatoes themselves with the sautéed vegetables and drizzled over the dish before serving. As each scoop of colcannon is served, the spoon dips through a well of pooled butter in the center of the bowl. If you can, use Irish butter for an extra boost of flavor, as I did here. It’s a bit softer than other butters on the market with an ultra-fresh, creamy taste, and a beautiful golden color. Many grocery stores are now stocking it regularly in their dairy sections. Are you hungry yet? Grab a spoon. These rich, buttery potatoes are waiting for you.
More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes from the blog archives:
Chocolate Stout Cream Pie with Irish Cream Whipped Cream
Stout-Braised Short Rib Cottage Pie
Irish-American Soda Bread
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