Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

When I decided to make Beef and Stout Stew for St. Patrick’s dinner, I imagined mashed potatoes on the side, soaking up the dark flavorful sauce. But I wanted to take the Irish theme as far as I could, so I looked for a recipe for colcannon – an Irish mashed potato and cabbage dish.

I found my beef stew recipe on Elise Bauer’s blog, Simply Recipes, so I began and ended my search for a colcannon recipe there too. I decided to buy kale for the recipe because I love it so much more than cabbage. If only we had full sun, instead of shade, in our yard, I would grow rows of it.

Since I had nice large cremini mushrooms in the refrigerator, I added about six to the recipe, slicing them into smaller pieces than usual. I also liked her suggestion for leeks, so I added two, but I skipped the green onions. And, of course, a little garlic is always a nice touch. I used less butter, substituting some olive oil instead, and used a little less milk. More milk will make the dish creamier.

I ended up having enough kale left over that I made colcannon again last night. I like sneaking vegetables into my potatoes, as in Cheesy Broccoli Potato Mash, so this recipe will likely appear again and again on our table.

colcannon recipe kale potatoes

Kale! (image by David Fisher)


You’ll need a medium pot with lid, a large deep pan or pot and a potato masher.

  • 4 russet potatoes (or 2 pounds), peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, or a mixture of both
  • 4 cups of chopped kale, chard, cabbage, or other leafy green – one bunch will be more than enough
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced crosswise in thirds (for medium and large mushrooms) and then into slices
  • 3/4 cup milk or cream

Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add salt, bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain.

In another large deep pan or pot, over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter (or a mixture of butter and olive oil). Add greens, cook until beginning to wilt. Add leeks and mushrooms, cook until softened. Add garlic (and a little butter, if needed), cook 1 minute more.

Pour in some of the milk or cream, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium. Mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens. Add more milk if needed. Add salt to taste and serve hot, with butter, if desired.

Original recipe: Colcannon, Simply Recipes

One thought on “Modern Colcannon

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