Colcannon (mashed potato and kale)
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish. It is served year round, though it has significance at Halloween.
The ingredients have always depended on availability; they vary from region to region, therefore each family has their favorite way to make it, which is passed down for generations.
The ingredients for colcannon consist of potatoes; kale or cabbage; scallions, onions or leeks; optional ham or bacon, and a generous amount of butter.
Traditionally, charms where wrapped up and hidden in the colcannon.
There is a fun superstition that, the item hidden within the colcannon you receive determines your fate for the coming year. There is a coin for wealth, a button for men who will remain bachelors, a thimble for women to be spinsters, and a ring to symbolize marriage, or continued happiness for someone who is already married.
This recipe is for the kale and scallion variety.
You will need:
5 lbs. of potatoes (approximately 10 potatoes); russets work nicely.
5 cups of chopped fresh kale (or whole leaves of baby kale)
2 large stalks of scallion
Butter (good Irish grass fed butter is best)
Seasonings to taste
Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into uniformed pieces. Cook the potatoes in salted, boiling water until soft (about 15-20 min.). While your potatoes are cooking, wash the kale, and chop if you have whole leaves, or leave as is if the kale is pre-cut, or if you have baby kale. For mature kale, remove tough spines, and place in a pan with about an inch of water at the bottom. Steam until tender, and sauté in 2 tbsp. of butter. For baby kale, skip the boiling process, and sauté as previously mentioned; season with salt and pepper to taste.
When the potatoes are done, drain well in a colander. Return the potatoes to the pot, and mash with plenty of butter, milk and cream. The potatoes shouldn’t be completely smooth, a rough mash is preferred. Chop up the scallions, and add to the potatoes along with the kale. Mix thoroughly, and add any additional milk and seasonings if needed.
When it is time to serve, make sure the potatoes are hot and positively mountainous, make a large well in the center, and place copious amounts of butter in the middle to melt. All colcannon should have this delicious butter well.
Leftovers are great for potato pancakes, or a colcannon topped Shepherd’s pie.
That’s all there is to it! We hope you love this centuries-old dish (we sure do!), and have a very happy Halloween!
- The Grey's Posy Team