Yay! Here's recipe number two from our early St. Patrick's Day celebration dinner. It just wouldn't be St. Pat's Day for me, if I didn't make a big old pot of Colcannon. When I say that this dish makes plain old mashed potatoes seem like sawdust, I am not telling tall tales. Although it might be said that the Irish have a bit of a knack for that. ;~)
It's rich. It's creamy. And it's made with heavy cream and the most delicious butter known to man... (Kerrygold) Irish Butter. Just take a peek at the pics below and you'll see why it is that I say that. It also has Leeks and Kale mixed in and they add the most wonderful sweet and savory goodness to the potatoes. I promise you this... Once you've tasted Colcannon, you'll never want plain old boring mashed potatoes again. (OK... That may be one of those tall tales - or not.)
This is how it's done...
Traditional Irish Colcannon
- 1 Medium Bunch Curly Kale, washed and chopped coarsely
- 1 to 2 Leeks, rinsed well and chopped
- 3 Lbs Red Skinned Potatoes, cut into equal sized cubes
- Heavy Cream
- Butter (Irish butter is best!)
- Salt & Pepper
Rinse both the Leeks and the Kale very well, because they often have a little sand caught in the folds, even when the grocer rinses them before putting them out for sale. Chop them both coarsely and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer and either put the Kale and Leeks directly into the water or place a fine strainer or colander in the pot, leaving enough of a water level to cover them. Blanch them for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Fill a large bowl with water, ice and salt. (Yes, I salt the ice water too - trust me, it makes a difference) When the Kale and Leeks are just slightly softened, place them in the ice water to stop the cooking process and set their color. It only takes a couple of minutes. Remove them from the ice bath to a paper towel or clean tea towel to drain. You want them to be pretty dry before adding them to the potatoes.
Fill a large pot with cold water and liberally salt it. Add your cubed potatoes (I leave the skin on for the flavor and a little added texture and color) to the pot and partially cover the pot with a lid. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium high to high heat and cook them until they are fork tender.
This is the true gold at the end of the rainbow. Irish Butter. There may be other brands of Irish butter in your store, but mine only stocks the Kerrygold brand. (and that's perfectly OK with me, because it's a very good brand - and no, I am not being paid or compensated in any way to promote them)
When the potatoes are fork tender, drain them and return them to the pot. Place them over very low heat and stir them a bit to help dry out any excess water. Once they are a bit dryer, add in your heavy cream and butter. I'm sure you're wondering how much of each of these ingredients to use, right?
Well, I didn't list amounts for either of these, because I'm sure some people would think I was insane if I admitted how much of each I use. Let's just say... that it's more than a wee bit. Oh, alright. I'll fess up. But, please be nice and try not to judge me. This is a once in a while thing and St. Pat's is the holiday that celebrates my Irish heritage. I used 3/4 Cup of Heavy Cream and 6 Tbls of Butter. OK. It was really 8 Tbls of butter. There. I admitted it. ;~) You can use less if you want to, but I do recommend splurging on this dish. I promise that you won't regret it... Until you get on the scales the next day. Ha!
Anyway.... Mash the potatoes to whatever texture you prefer. I like mine just a tiny bit chunky. Add in your blanched and drained Kale and Leeks and salt & pepper to taste. (They can take a pretty good amount of salt) Set them aside and cover them if you aren't serving right away. I put them in the dish I'm serving them in and put them in a low oven. (about 300 degrees)
Serve the Colcannon with your main dish and any other sides that you like. I served my Colcannon with my Ale Braised Beef Brisket and Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Onions. (The Cabbage recipe is HERE and the Ale Braised Beef Brisket recipe is HERE!)
I'm adding this to the St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl at Cuisine Kathleen. Come on over and join in on the celebration!
Don't forget that you can print this (or any) recipe using the "Print Friendly" button at the foot of each post. It's a great little feature that allows you to remove any pictures (or any text that isn't relevant to the recipe) before printing. That can save on ink and paper & in today's economy, who doesn't want to save a little cash when you can?!