Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Colcannon....What I eat INSTEAD of corned beef

Not many people have eaten or even heard of colcannon.  I saw it in the newspaper many years ago and it has become a part of my yearly St. Patrick's feast tradition.  Mostly because it substitutes as my main course as I turn my nose up at corned beef.  Plus it's equal parts good and equal parts evil.  Cabbage and potatoes=good.  Butter and more butter=bad. throw in some ham and green onions to finish it off.

I decided after the first time I made this, that I had to throw the recipe I had away.  I am pretty sure it called for AT LEAST 2 sticks of butter.  I cannot justify that.  And I can't remember the meat, but it was a strange Irish delicacy like...boiled bacon or something.  So, I am going to give you my colcannon recipe.  I don't have exact amounts for gotta go with instincts on this one a bit.

Colcannon the Hearth way
Potatoes....a big pot of them, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
4 Tbl butter.  2 Tbl. Butter, or whatever you feel is a good amount when adding it to mashed potatoes and 2 Tbl for your cabbage
Slosh or two of milk
Ham Steak
3 Green Onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Boil your potatoes until they are tender. about 20 to 25 minutes.  A fork should easily slide into them.  Drain. Meanwhile as you are boiling potatoes....

Saute your cabbage.  In a heavy skillet, melt the butter.  Toss the cabbage in, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir occasionally. Top with foil.  Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until the cabbage is tender and beginning to brown.

While your cabbage is sauteing begin on your ham steak.  This is my favorite way to cook ham steak.  In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, either melt a Tbl. of shortening or veg oil.  Make sure it's good and hot.  Throw in ham steak.  Let cook until it's dark brown and caramelized and so, so yummy.  Turn over and cook other side.  Cool a bit.  Chop into small pieces. 

Chop up your green onions while everything is finishing up.

Time to assemble.

Mash the potatoes.  Add a bit of butter and a touch of milk until they are nice and creamy.  Salt and pepper to taste. If they're my potatoes they'll have a lump or two.  I am never patient enough to completely de-lump my mashed potatoes.

Fold in the cabbage and ham.  Taste as you go.  You will probably need to adjust the seasoning as potatoes are notoriously bland without salt.  You will also need to use your muscles to get everything mixed.

Top with green onions and enjoy a tasty Irish delight.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Mmmm....I've made colcannon only once, but twas yummy. And what do you mean, butter is bad? Are you crazy? :P


  2. That looks amazing! I had it once at an Irish pub but yours looks even better! Pinned and can't wait to try! Thanks!

    1. I hope you like it Jenny. That and my soda bread are the only way I get through the corned beef of the day. ;)

  3. sounds like equal parts of good + equal parts of more good. This really looks delicious

  4. Oh butter is my downfall. I have made colcannon, but my recipe does not call for meat in it. I like the idea of meat in it's like a little casserole. (I did not know you didn't like corned beef. I like it in small doses, but only because I know it leads to Reuben Sandwiches...which I love!)

  5. This is my kind of recipe, one that isn't exact. I love your measurement of a 'slosh'.

    Looks delicious.

  6. Very perfect to have on the table with that delicious Soda Bread you posted about earlier! :)

  7. Oh how I miss potatoes :( The Irish in me needs them but with the hubby on a low carb diet and being the only the cooker man in the house...I'm out of luck! Oh how I miss potatoes :(

  8. Oh boy, Heather, this looks delish! I've never heard of colcannon(don't tell my Irish forefathers).
    I'm with Danni, give me a Reuben any day!
    Please give some of this to the Feral Turtle, no potatoes, poor thing!

  9. I'd say this would go great with that rueben sandwich but considering the ham, this is like a meal all its own! You all sound like you're fixin to have an Irish feast fit for a king! What time should I arrive?


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