The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Mashed Potato Cabbage Love: Kids Make Colcannon

October 14th, 2011 · 5 Comments · Posted in kids

Simple pleasures are often the best

Sometimes the simplest foods are the best.

Into that category I would place Irish colcannon, a rustic mash-up of potatoes, cabbage and onions. Some versions add ham or bacon. But we stuck with the vegetarian original. They say this is traditionally served for Halloween. All I know is the kids in my food appreciation classes went wild for it.

But what’s not to like about mashed potatoes? They aren’t exactly on my diet. But cabbage adds all kinds of health benefits and the kids didn’t seem to notice that they were actually eating a beneficial vegetable besides the potatoes.

Plus, they would gladly spend all day peeling and chopping vegetables.

Start by cutting 1/3 green cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Place these in a steamer basket set inside a heavy pot with water and steam over moderate heat until the cabbage is tender and has turned an olive color.

Meanwhile, peel and cut into 1-inch pieces about 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (you can use ordinary Russets as well). Cover with water in a heavy pot and cook until tender.

In a heavy skillet, saute until soft and lightly browned 2 medium onions cut into medium dice in three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or bacon grease).

When the potatoes are done, drain the water from the pot and mash the potatoes with 3 tablespoons butter and a generous splash of milk. Stir in the cooked cabbage and onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with chopped scallions and serve warm.

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  • Bethesda Locavore

    This sounds delicious. I am definitely going to try this with my kids.

  • Ed Bruske

    I offered some of the left-over colcannon to me daughter for her lunch today and she rejected it utterly. “I don’t like cabbage.” So I would defnitely recommend making it with your children. I think that gets them over any pre-conceived notions about cabbage they might have.

  • L A Cochran

    I first heard of colcannon about 3 weeks ago. Made a decent one two weeks ago from the Wikipedia recipe. Used kale instead of cabbage (a legitimate option according to Wiki) and was quite pleased. As you say, how can you go wrong when you start with mashed potatoes?

  • Delora

    My MIL’s colcannon recipe (one of those passed-down family recipes) calls for kale and leeks instead of cabbage and onion. Hers is delicious, though I’m guilty of adding more butter at the table.

  • Ed Bruske

    Delora, this is a dish that can obviously be dressed up in a number of ways. I tried to keep it as basic, and as inexpensive, as possible. I have a feeling that the original peasant version was simply cabbage and potatoes and possibly onions. I’ve seen recipes that call for ham or bacon, an additional expense that would take calcannon out of the vegetarian relm. People should feel free to improvise.