Irish Colcannon Potato Recipe

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Irish    Kale    Leeks    Potatoes    Pressure Cooker Vegetable Recipes    Saint Patrick's Day    Vegetable History   

 

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Stove Top & Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions

Mashed Potato with Kale and Bacon

Irish Colcannon PotatoesIrish 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.

Irish Colcannon Potatoes

Stove Top Preparation
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Preparation

 

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.

1847Mrs. 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.”

1875Cassell’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.”

 

Sources:
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

Find out about Potato Hints, Tips, and Information, Sweet Potato Tips or History of Potatoes.

Check out What’s Cooking America’s Perfect Mashed Potatoes and also our favorite holiday Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes.

Irish Colcannon Potato Recipe:

Irish Colcannon Potato Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Pressure Cooker Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/3 pounds (4 medium) Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into uniform 2-inch chunks*
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons warm butter
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot milk, half & half, or cream
4 strips thick-cut bacon
1/2 bunch of curly kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped**
1 leek, finely chopped
4 green onions stalks (1/2 cup,) finely chopped (divided)
Salt and Pepper to taste

* Do not cut the potatoes into smaller chunks as too much water will be absorbed by the potatoes. After cutting the potatoes, immediately place in cold water to prevent discoloration of the potatoes.

** Can substitute 1/2 head of cabbage, if desired.

 

Instructions:

Stove Top Preparation:

Mashed Potato Preparation:

In large saucepan, add cut-up potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.  Potatoes are done when the internal temperature registers approximately 200 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.

Thermapen ThermometerThis is the type of cooking thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking.  I get many readers asking what cooking thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking.  I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right.  To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:  Thermapen Thermometer.

While potatoes are cooking, either in another saucepan or microwave, heat butter.  Also heat hot milk or saucepan or microwave.  NOTE: Do not add cold butter or cold milk/cream when making mashed potatoes.

When the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander.  Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.  NOTE: Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jell and may even increase in volume, becoming swollen and watery.  That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.

In the same saucepan that the potatoes have been heated in, mash potatoes with a potato masher, potato ricer (do not use your electric mixer) until there are no lumps.  Stir in warm butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of the hot milk.  Add additional milk, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency.

Note:  Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, as anyone who has tried to make the side dish in a food processor can attest. When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell.  If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste. I  personally use a potato ricer when making mashed potatoes.  Using a potato ricer, you can make velvety smooth mashed potatoes right at home because potatoes come out fluffy without being gummy.  Once you use the potato rice, you will never go back to the old traditional potato masher.  If you don't have one and would like to purchase a potato ricer, just click on the green link.

Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.

Colcannon Preparation:

Irish Colcannon PotatoesWhile potatoes are cooking, in large skillet over medium-high heat, start cooking the bacon strips until bacon is crisp.  Remove the bacon and set aside on a plate with paper towels.  Drain off most of the bacon fat, until there is enough left to coat the bottom of the skillet.

Add the kale and leeks to the skillet and sautfor approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the kale is completely cooked and shriveled.  Remove the kale and leeks from the skillet and set aside on a cutting board to cool down.  Once the kale and leeks have cooled down enough to touch, use a knife to finely dice the mixture.

Crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside 1 teaspoon of the bacon pieces along with 1 teaspoon of diced green onions for garnishment.

Stir the kale mixture, remaining bacon pieces and green onions into the mashed potatoes until well blended.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Spoon Colcannon into large serving bowl and sprinkle with reserved bacon crumbles and diced green onions mixture.

Serve immediately

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Preparation:

Instant PotColcannon directions: 

Note: This preparation can be done in Saute mode in the pressure cooker before cooking potatoes, or simultaneously in a skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat while the potatoes are cooking in the pressure cooker.

Press the Saute button, and Adjust button to select More heat. When the control panel registers "Hot", add the bacon strips and cook until bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside on a plate with paper towels. Drain off most of the bacon fat, until there is enough left to coat the bottom of the inner pot.

Add the kale and leeks to the inner pot and saute for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the kale is completely cooked and shriveled. Remove the kale and leeks from the inner pot and set aside on a cutting board to cool down. Once the kale and leeks have cooled down enough to touch, use a knife to finely dice the mixture.

Crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside 1 teaspoon of the bacon pieces along with 1 teaspoon of diced green onions for garnishment. The kale mixture and bacon will be mixed in after the mashed potatoes have been completed.

Mashed Potato directions:

Add cut-up potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup of cold water into inner pot. Cover with lid and close lid to seal. Close the Pressure Valve to seal.

Select the Manual button, and adjust to High Pressure. Set the cooking time to 10 minutes. When cooking time is completed, quick release the pressure value until the pin has dropped.

While potatoes are cooking, either in another saucepan or microwave, heat butter.  Also heat hot milk or saucepan or microwave.  NOTE: Do not add cold butter or cold milk/cream when making mashed potatoes.

When the potatoes are cooked, open the lid and drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Return potatoes to the inner pot. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or potato ricer (do not use your electric mixer) until there are no lumps.  Stir in warm butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of the hot milk.  Add additional milk, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.

Stir the kale mixture, bacon pieces and green onions into the mashed potatoes until well blended. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Spoon Colcannon into large serving bowl and sprinkle with reserved bacon crumbles and diced green onions mixture.

Serve immediately

Makes 6 to 8 servings. 

https://whatscookingamerica.net/Vegetables/Irish-Colcannon-Potatoes.htm

 

Irish Colcannon PotatoesAdditional St. Patrick’s Day Recipes:

Corned Beef and Cabbage
My family and I look forward to enjoying corned beef and cabbage dinner as part of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day every year.  This is a great no-fuss meal to serve on Saint Patrick’s Day or any day that you desire.
Corned Beef Bubble and Squeak
Bubble and Squeak is a traditional Monday lunch in England to take the leftover potatoes and vegetables from Sunday supper and fry it up to enjoy for lunch the next day.  The odd name is said to come from the noises made while cooking it.
Guinness Beef Stew – Irish Beef Stew
Most every pub you visit in Ireland will offer Beef and Guinness Stew on the menu.  Stewing the beef in Guinness stout beer tenderizes the beef and adds a robust, malty flavor to the stew.
Traditional Irish Lamb Stew simmered in a clear broth with traditional root vegetables such as onions, carrots, turnips and potatoes.
Irish Soda Bread
Here’s a wonderful traditional Irish Soda bread recipe that can be found in homes and markets all over Ireland.  In the United States, Irish Soda bread is popular to accompany Corned Beef and Cabbage when celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.
Chocolate Guinness Cake
Chocolate Guinness Cake is a wonderfully dense and moist chocolate cake that is not overly sweet yet the chocolate flavor is still rich with a hint of malt.  This is great dessert idea to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day or enjoy any time of the year.

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