Colcannon is a tasty mashed potato dish made with cabbage (or kale) and sometimes bacon or ham. This is considered an Irish dish so I made them for this past St. Patty’s Day! But they are good any day of the year with some roast beef or stew.
Serves 4 to 6
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and quartered (I used Russet but use what you have)
3 slices of bacon
1 small onion, diced
¼ medium head of cabbage, shredded (or kale)
4 tbsp butter (depends on how much you like in your mashed potatoes)
3/4 cup cream or milk
In a large pot, add the potatoes, cover with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet until nearly crisp, crumble and set aside on a paper towel. Keep about a tablespoon of the grease in the skillet and sauté the onion and shredded cabbage (or kale) over moderate heat until tender.
Reduce the heat with the potatoes to a simmer until soft then drain. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, 3 tablespoons of butter, cream or milk and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Mash it all together with a fork until the lumps are gone (or keep them if you like). Stir in the bacon and cooked onion/cabbage mixture with the grease. Top the dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter in a well in the center. Serve immediately.
These were served with a fresh parsley sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup plain flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 pinch salt
1 pinch white pepper
2 ounces parsley, chopped finely=use Italian flat parsley
1 egg yolk (optional)
2 dashes hot sauce (optional)
Gently melt the butter in a saucepan (non-stick is easier). Don’t let it sizzle.
Add the flour, salt, and white pepper (black pepper at a push, but you’ll be able to see black specks in the sauce).
Stir, over gentle heat, with a wooden spoon for a few minutes to let the flour cook and to amalgamate everything. If you don’t cook it long enough at this stage, the sauce will taste floury.
Add a little milk to the flour and butter mix (you have now made a roux) and stir again. When it is amalgamated, add a little more milk and mix again. Add more milk, little by little, until you have a thickish creamy sauce. Cook the sauce for 5 minutes over gentle heat, stirring to stop it sticking. If you get lumps, press them with the wooden spoon against the side of the pan to mash them. If you need to, use a whisk, but be careful not to scratch a non-stick pan. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
For a richer sauce, add a little hot sauce to a raw egg yolk in a cup, mix well, then reintroduce into the main sauce.
Add the parsley, stir and serve immediately.