Irish Colcannon

 This Irish Colcannon is a wonderful, hearty traditional Irish peasant food, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that a commonly held belief is definitely NOT true.

This Irish Colcannon is a wonderful, hearty traditional Irish peasant food, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Whoever started the rumor that food from the British Isles is bland, boring and uninteresting needs to have their head examined! After numerous trips to visit my daughter and her family in London, I know this is definitely not true about England. We have had scads of fabulous, fresh, creative meals while traveling in this lovely country.

 This Irish Colcannon is a wonderful, hearty traditional Irish peasant food, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

I’ve never been to Scotland or Ireland, but have had friends and family who’ve traveled there and brought back rave reviews regarding the cuisine. A sweet co-worker/friend of mine toured Ireland several years ago and brought back enthusiastic praises about the delicious meals they enjoyed She also surprised me with a lovely cookbook called Irish Pub Cooking (thanks Dana!). As I paged through this recipe collection, with it’s gorgeous photos, I bookmarked page after page and have had fun trying out some of these delicious recipes.

This Irish Colcannon is a wonderful, hearty traditional Irish peasant food, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

This recipe for Colcannon has been calling my name for awhile now, so I decided that this was the perfect time to give it a try with St. Patrick’s Day at the end of this week.

Colcannon is a very traditional Irish potato dish, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Like most ethnic specialties, however, there are as many variations as there are tales of Leprechauns with pots of hidden gold in the Irish countryside. The different versions depend on the season, the region and on personal taste. And though Colcannon was, historically, quite popular among the peasant class in Ireland (it’s ingredients being cheap and available year round), I think it makes a delicious, unique and quite gourmet side dish for a lovely dinner! What do you think?

This Irish Colcannon is a wonderful, hearty traditional Irish peasant food, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

P.S. Check back tomorrow for another yummy recipe from “the Emerald Isle” – Irish Roasted Salmon – a delicious, super simple dinner entree that will wow both family and friends! In fact, if you stop by The Café each day this week you just might feel like you’re taking a vacation to that fair, enchanted Celtic land (at least in a culinary sense!) We’ll be featuring delicious Irish-inspired recipes all week!

This Irish Colcannon is a wonderful, hearty traditional Irish peasant food, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
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Irish Colcannon

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet or golden potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ small green cabbage, core removed and finely shredded
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes. Remove potatoes to a large bowl with a slotted spoon, draining off all excess water.
  2. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the butter and milk and stir well. Add a bit more milk, if needed to make a smooth, creamy consistency. Season to taste with sea salt.
  3. Add shredded cabbage to the potato water and return to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes until cabbage is soft. Drain thoroughly, squeezing off excess water. Mix the cabbage and mashed potatoes together, then stir in the scallions, reserving a handful for garnish. Taste and season if needed with more salt. Place in a large bowl or small individual bowls and sprinkle generously with freshly ground pepper. Scatter reserved sliced scallions over top and drizzle with melted butter.


30 thoughts on “Irish Colcannon”

  • I just made this as a side for our brisket tonight, and I want to know… HOW HAVE I NEVER HAD THIS BEFORE???? It’s simple and quick to make, economical, and tastes lovely! I didn’t have any scallions, but had chives from the garden in abundance so I used those instead. Thank you!

  • I am Irish, not sure how I cam across your blog but I enjoy it immensely you have some fabulous recipes…… anyhow back to being Irish …. colcannon is traditionally served at Halloween (just gone I know !) and normally has Kale mixed through (try it, it really is delicious – very different from cabbage); also when served on Halloween night money (wrapped in tinfoil or parchment paper) is put into the colcannon and the kids love it ! Make sure to warn your guest tho ! By the way it is absolutely delicious served with boiled bacon or ham – my personal preference is smoked ! Enjoy.

  • I am Irish, not sure how I cam across your blog but I enjoy it immensely you have some fabulous recipes…… anyhow back to being Irish …. colcannon is traditionally served at Halloween (just gone I know !) and normally has Kale mixed through (try it, it really is delicious – very different from cabbage); also when served on Halloween night money (wrapped in tinfoil or parchment paper) is put into the colcannon and the kids love it ! Make sure to warn your guest tho ! By the way it is absolutely delicious served with boiled bacon or ham – my personal preference is smoked ! Enjoy.

  • For traditional German variation, use turnips or cauliflower instead of the cabbage (although that would be German too). Add additional flavor by using chicken broth as your liquid.

  • For traditional German variation, use turnips or cauliflower instead of the cabbage (although that would be German too). Add additional flavor by using chicken broth as your liquid.

  • What a delicious way to prepare salmon, and certainly festive for St. Patrick’s Day! Thanks for sharing your creative recipe!

  • Never heard of adding cabbage to mashed potatoes before, but love the idea! Two favorites coming together!! Thanks for the recipe!

  • I’ve always loved the sound of colcannon but haven’t prepared it this traditional way yet. I made a low-carb version using mashed cauliflower and mixed in kale, and it was good, but I imagine the real potatoes make it even better! Lovely photos, as always!

  • What a lovely Irish dish. One of my all time favorite cookbooks is from a restaurant in Ireland that is far from boring and one of the most creative books I own. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe. I look forward to the rest of those yummy dishes you’ll be featuring this week.

  • Thanks Mary – really all anyone has to do is look at YOUR blog to know that British food is not boring, bland or dull – it’s just plain old fabulous!!

  • Thank you so much for spreading the word about British cooking!!! I’ve been trying to convince people for years!!!! Your post is SO delicious and of course beautifully photographed 🙂
    Mary x

  • That’s so cool Cathy, that you just made this last night! Is your recipe similar? One of the things I love about it is that it makes mashed potatoes (one of my all time favorite foods!) just a bit healthier and lower in calories!
    Oh, and guess what? I’m serving the leftovers tonight with pork chops! 🙂

  • This is one of my favorite ways to serve potatoes! I prepared it last night and served it with smoked pork chops. Delicious! I think I may have the leftovers for lunch. I’m looking forward to your posts this week, Chris.

  • I must say that your colcannon is the prettiest I have ever seen!!! And I can’t wait to see the salmon dish, we love salmon and I poach mine, so this might be differently delicious!

  • i regret to say that my last trip to manchester and scotland i didnt really got a chance to try out many of their traditional cuisines but i remember i was eating scones all the time. This mashed potato sounds easy and creamy and i think the idea of putting in the cabbage is a great one too!

  • You are always a pleasure to read!This traditional recipe is excellent:healthy, yummy, simple and cheap!Looking forward to your net irish-inspired recipes,dear Chris!
    xxx

  • I just read your “meet Chris” and “story of the cafe sucre farine” pages…what a delightful story of how you came to give your beautiful blog that name. And your husband does a totally awesome job with the photography!

    Anyhow, not sure how I discovered your blog, but I’m so glad I did. You always post such delicious-sounding recipes, including today’s colcannon recipe.

    Thanks,
    Patti

  • I’ve heard the name Colcannon before, but never had a clue as to what it was. It looks delicious. I don’t know if I could sell my family on the cabbage being in there. Maybe if I don’t tell them?

    I have to admit that I’ve always thought the best thing to come out of England was fish and chips. Thank you for correcting me!

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