Kirsten’s Kitchen: Mashed potatoes, Irish style

Ahh, mashed potatoes, as American as apple pie, right? Perhaps, but what if it came from the land of potatoes?

No, not Idaho – Ireland!

If you have never had Colcannon (pronounced CULkennan with the emphasis on the first syllable) you are in for a treat! 

It is peasant food at its best: saute onions and cabbage in butter until soft and sweet, add to boiled potatoes along with cream and butter and mash all together. 

Oh Paddy, that’s the ticket!

Cabbage, onions and yes, even potatoes, are loaded with lots of great vitamins and minerals – go ahead, look it up. 

They might not be part of the current kale kraze, but there’s a solid punch of calcium, iron, potassium and Vitamin C among others. 

Of course some people think they don’t like cabbage so they add in other greens from spinach to kale to swiss chard to arugula, but if you recall my predilection for that particular cruciferous veggie, you know what I’ll choose! 

Colcannon, my dear, it’s the way to get your kids to eat cabbage and like it! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


(serves 3-4)

2 lbs red or Yukon potatoes, cut in equal pieces

4 tbls butter, divided

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups chopped green cabbage

½ cup cream or half and half

Salt and Pepper

Place potatoes in a pot of water with enough water to cover them by at least an inch. Bring to boil and cook until tender. Once cooked, leave in cooking water until vegetable preparation is done.

In a skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat and saute onions and small pinch of salt for three to four minutes until they begin to soften. 

Add cabbage and pinch of salt and stir well with onions and allow cabbage to sweat – cook down and soften – for eight to 10 minutes. When ready, the cabbage will not be crunchy nor completely limp. Turn off heat and set aside. 

Return to boiled potatoes and drain, keeping potatoes in the pot. Dice remaining butter and mash it into the potatoes with potato masher, ensuring butter melts. 

Add cream and continue mashing until potatoes reach desired consistency (if you like your mashed potatoes really smooth, add more cream). Add salt and pepper to taste. Lastly blend in the cooked vegetables and serve.




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