Categories:Irish Kale Leeks Potatoes Pressure Cooker Vegetable Recipes Saint Patrick's Day Vegetable History
Stove Top & Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions
Mashed Potato with Kale and Bacon
Irish Colcannon Potato Recipe is a true Irish soul food. The dish consists of mashing together buttery mashed potatoes with cooked kale or cabbage and leeks for flavoring. Once the mixture is mashed together, it is ready to eat or it can be placed in a baking pan and baked in an oven for another 30 minutes. For this recipe, I used kale sauteed in bacon and mixed in the bacon crumbles (because I love bacon and bacon gives everything a boost!). I love the color of the dark green kale mixed with the mashed potatoes as well as the flavor of bacon and leeks. Instructions are also provided for stove top and Instant Pot pressure cooker directions.
It is very common in Ireland, to find the colcannon recipe printed on the back of a bag of potatoes. There are also many recipe variations. Some boil the greens and some will saute the greens in bacon for additional flavor. If your a lover of collard greens, then you should definitely try colcannon to serve at your next family dinner. You can also enjoy your leftover colcannon for breakfast the next morning as fried patties or fry it up with leftover meat to make Corned Beef Bubble and Squeak.
History of Colcannon:
During Medieval times in Europe and Ireland, potatoes, cabbages, and leeks were considered the food of the common man so it was inevitable that a dish would evolve that combines all the ingredients. The word colcannon is from the Gaelic term “cal ceannann” which means white-headed cabbage. It is also believed to be a derivative of the old Irish “cainnenin” translated as garlic, onion, or leek.
In Ireland, colcannon is served as a special treat with ham or Irish bacon. The Irish tradition is to serve colcannon as the main dish for Halloween festivities and refer to the evening as “Colcannon Night”. Colcannon is used for the foretelling of marriages. Just as Americans have the fun superstition of the single young lady who catches the wedding bouquet will be the next to marry. Young single Irish women hope to find the ring hidden in their plate of colcannon. A blindfolded, unmarried woman is to pick the head of cabbage or kale from the garden that is to be cooked in the colcannon dish. Charms such as rings, thimbles, and coins are wrapped and hidden in bowls of colcannon. This is a particularly exciting eve for the young men or women. If a young unmarried girl is lucky enough to find a ring in her bowl, a marriage proposal could be soon waiting for her and she would likely marry within the year before the next Colcannon Night. Other young maidens would fill their stockings with their first and last spoonfuls of colcannon and hang them from the front door handle. It is believed that the first man through the door would become their future husband.
Irish immigrants that came to the United States, introduced colcannon to American cuisine and you will find it served in America more commonly on Saint Patrick’s Day. One of the favorite ways to enjoy a plate of colcannon is to make a large mountain shaped pile on your plate, then make a big well or hole in the center of the pile. A generous pat of butter is placed in the hole which quickly melts. Then cream is poured around the outside of the colcannon pile. One is to take a spoonful of colcannon and dip it into the well of melted butter and experience a bite of heaven.
1735 – Earliest reference to mashed potatoes and cabbages is found in the Diary of William Bulkely, of Bryndda, near Amlwch in Anglesey, who made two journeys to Dublin in 1735.
1847 – Mrs. Crowen’s American Lady’s Cookery Book, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [Dick & Fitzgerald: New York] 1847 (p.194)
“Cabbage and Potatoes.- Chop cold boiled cabbage and potatoes quite fine; put them together, season with butter, pepper and salt, add a very little vinegar to hopt water, to moisten without making it wet, put it into a stew-pan over the firs, stir it well, that is may be thoroughly heated, but not burn; then take it into a dish, and serve for breakfast, or with cold boiled salt meat for dinner.”
1875 – Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery with Numberous Illustrations, [Cassel, Petter, Galpin & Co. : London] 1875 (p.150)
“Colcannon. – Boil separately equal weights of young cabbage, savoy, or spinach, and potatoes. Chop the greens and mash the potatoes, and mix them wll together with a little pepper and salt, and one ounce of butter to one pound of the mixed vegetables. Heat the mixture over the fire for a few minutes, stirring it all the time; then press it into a hot, well-buttered mould. Turn out and serve. Or, press it after mixing into a well-buttered mould, and put it into the oven for half and hour. Turn out and serve. Cold vegetable may be warmed up in this way. Probably cost, 6d. For a pint mould. Sufficient for three or four persons.”
Food Timeline: Irish Food History & Traditions – Colcannon
Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, Oxford University Press, 1999 (p 203)
Irish Traditional Cooking. Dublin: Allen, Darina (2012 revised version), Gill and Macmillan. P.152.
Researching Food History Blog Spot – Cooking And Dining, Colcannon Night, by Patricia Bixler Reber, Oct 28, 2013, healthcook.com
One Perfect Bite Blog Spot, Cocannon – An Irish Halloween Tradition, by Mary Bergfeld, Oct 8, 2009
Irish Colcannon Potato Recipe:
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