After the last few sweet posts, I thought I’d take a little departure today, and share something more savory!
I wish, wish, I was one of those people who could be happy as a lark just eating fruit and nuts and steamed fish all day long, but the truth is, if left to my own devices, my diet would consist of three major food groups:
I do my best to keep things balanced, but the truth is, I could eat potatoes EVERY DAY, and never get tired of them. Maybe it’s the Irish in me…
Well, this traditional Irish recipe has two of those bases covered, with a healthy dose of greens added in for good measure!
I like to start by peeling the potatoes and chunking them up. They go into a big pot of cold, salty water, and then on the stove to simmer until soft.
While that is going, crisp up some thick-cut bacon.
I cut the strips (or rashers, as they are called in Ireland) crosswise into little rectangles, and toss them into a cold pan, on medium-low heat. After a little while, all the fat will render off and the meat crisps up. Scoop the bits out with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towel.
Meanwhile, chop a bunch of kale into bite-sized pieces, and some scallions as well.
Pour off most of the bacon fat, and then in go the greens to soften up and mellow out.
By now the potatoes are probably good and ready to be mashed. I love using a ricer because it really keeps them nice and fluffy, and no lumps! I just rice them into the same pot they’ve boiled in, keeping a low flame under them to warm and dry them. Thin them a bit with warm milk and season them with some salt and pepper.
Stir in the softened greens and the crispy bacon…
…and I just love this Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, which is produced in Ireland and has a lovely nutty-sweet flavor, which plays so nicely against the kale.
It’s not traditional to add cheese to Colcannon, but this little twist makes it especially delish!
Traditional or not, for me, potatoes+green onions+bacon+cheese = one happy lass!
- 6 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 8 thick-cut slices of smoked bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 1 bunch of scallions (green part only), coarsely chopped
- 5 ounces (or to taste) Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, shredded
- warm milk, as needed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- salted butter, to taste
- Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water and simmer.
- Saute the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Drain off all but a tablespoon or so of bacon fat, and saute the kale, covered, over medium-low heat, until wilted and soft.
- When the potatoes are fork-tender, drain and rice them into a pot over low heat.
- Thin with warm milk.
- Fold in the bacon, kale, scallions, and shredded cheese, and season with salt and butter.
- Garnish with a pat of butter.
I’ve served this dish to my family every St. Patrick’s Day for the last three or so years, and there is just nothing more comforting than a warm, buttery bowl of Colcannon on a blustery March evening…!