Irish Colcannon

 

Happy <nearly> St. Patrick’s Day!  Can you even believe it is already almost time!  For me it seems like the year is flying by, as it usually does.  The East Coast had a glimpse of spring and all its sunny, 60-degree glory, followed by chilly weather again.  Those daydreams of warm soil, hot sunshine, and tiny green buds and leaves poking up bravely into the world are becoming closer and closer to real.

 

Whether you make this tonight, or use leftover potatoes and cabbage later, this is a delicious and filling meal that everyone will love, regardless of heritage.

Colcannon Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of red or green cabbage
  • 1.5-2 pounds potatoes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 stick butter (or 1/4 cup oil of choice)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or water, or stock)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 an onion, diced; garlic salt

Cabbage & Potatoes

Step 1: Dice the potatoes into cubes, you can use any kind.  I leave the skins on because that is where the majority of the nutrients and minerals are found, but you could peel them.  Cut out the hard core of the cabbage, and shred the head or cut into thin strips.

Boiling potatoes

Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the potatoes.  Simmer for at least 25-30 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork.

Steaming cabbage

Step 3: In a large covered pot, add the cut up cabbage with a few tbsp water or stock (or wine, or vinegar) and heat over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, until cabbage becomes soft and translucent.  If using onions, add at this time too.

Ground beef and cabbage

Step 4: In a large pan, brown the ground beef (or chicken, or turkey, or pork).  Drain off the excess fats.  You can use the same pan if you remove the cabbage.  Add the cooked softened cabbage back in.

Mashing potatoes

Step 5: Drain the potatoes, and mash it up to your desired consistency, whether totally smooth or with chunks.  Add the butter and milk (or other liquids) and mix well.

Mashed potatoes and cabbage

Step 6: Add the mashed potatoes to the pot with cabbage and ground beef and mix well.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Irish Colcannon in pot

That’s all there is to it!  Three classic mainstays of Irish cooking, cabbage, potatoes, and meat, together in one happy marriage.  Serve with gravy if desired.  If you are clever about cooking order, you can make this all in one pot too.  This makes a huge amount, so be sure you have plenty of people to share it with or will eat it over time.  You can of course halve or quarter the recipe as needed.

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