Mary Anne's St Patrick's Day Colcannon

Not only will Irish eyes be smiling, but everyone else's will be, too, when they taste what many consider the ultimate in comfort foods. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage, though green onions, milk, bacon or ham are often added to it. There is even an Irish song about this dish!

3-4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced

2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed

1 1/4 cups hot half-n-half, milk, or heavy cream, depending on how rich you want it

Freshly ground black pepper

1 package Savoy cabbage, finely shredded

Olive oil, for sautéing cabbage

16 ounces bacon or ham, diced

4 green onions, very finely chopped

Chopped parsley leaves or chives, for garnish, optional

  • Steam the potatoes in their skins until tender, about 30 minutes. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of cubed butter. Gradually add hot half-n-half, milk or heavy cream, stirring all the time. Season with dash of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Sauté' cabbage with diced bacon, or if using, the ham, and the green onion until the mixture is thoroughly cooked. Add 2 tablespoons of the second stick of butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid and steam cabbage and bacon mixture for about two to three minutes.
  • Add cabbage, bacon (or ham) and green onions to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently. Place Colcannon potatoes on plate and make a "nest" in the mashed potatoes with a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley or chives, if using.

Serves 6.

Note: You can also use smoked ham hocks. Place the smoked ham hocks in a large pan and cover it completely with water. Bring the ham hocks to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and dice into small pieces.

Note: You can use less butter if you want, but if you make this once a year, why would you want to use less!