Traditional Irish Colcannon

Try your luck with this tasty side dish, traditionally served on Halloween.

Leeks and garlic simmer in the skillet, filling the kitchen with their earthy aroma. The potatoes are cooking in the big kettle and the cabbage is chopped ready to mingle its flavors into the medley called Colcannon.

Colcannon is an Irish dish served often in my family and at any time of year. But it is traditionally known as a dish of Halloween or as it is sometimes known as in Ireland, Samhain (Sow-in). The definition of Colcannon is derived from Gaelic and literally means “ white-headed cabbage”.

I grew up eating some variation of this dish and absolutely love it as comfort food, as a side dish, or sometimes just the meal itself. And I must say, it pairs well with a pint of Guinness!

It is a recipe combining potatoes (of course), cabbage, and leeks, with cream. Seriously, what is there not to like?

While it is popular all year long, it is always a favorite at Halloween and then again at St. Patrick’s Day. Custom has it to hide a small coin or trinket in the dish too. Whoever finds the coin will have a year of prosperity coming their way.

I hope you enjoy this family favorite.

Colcannon Recipe:

5–6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes

4 tablespoons butter

2 leeks, white and green parts thinly sliced

2–4 cloves Garlic, depending on your taste

2 cups shredded green cabbage or kale

1 ¼ cups milk

½ cup cream

Pepper and salt to taste

1 scallion or green onion, thinly sliced

Cover potatoes with water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium-hegh heat. Reduce heat when boiling and simmer until potatoes are thoroughly cooked (30–40 minutes) Drain, let cool slightly, then peel the skins from the potatoes.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare the cabbage mixture.

Melt 4 Tbls., butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in sliced leeks and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook, stirring until garlic is fragrant and leeks are just beginning to brown up a little. Add half of the shredded cabbage (1 cup), stirring until wilted. Add in milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

Once potatoes are cooked, cooled, and peeled, add them and the remaining portion of cabbage. Mash with a potato masher until everything is coarsely blended.

(If you prefer your potatoes to have a smoother texture, mash them first with a splash of cream to the consistency you desire, then add them and the remaining cabbage to the mixture)

Finish by serving the Colcannon in a bowl topped with a pat of butter and sprinkled with the chopped scallions.

Slàinte Mhaith, “in good health”

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: