Irish Mashed Potatoes, or “Colcannon” is a traditional Irish dish made from mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage.
Irish Mashed potatoes, or “Colcannon” is a traditional Irish dish that has a history rooted in Irish cuisine and culture. It is a simple yet delicious dish made from mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale, typically with some additional ingredients such as butter, milk, and sometimes scallions or onions. The name “colcannon” is derived from the Gaelic word “cál ceannann,” which means “white-headed cabbage.”
The history of colcannon can be traced back several centuries in Ireland, and it is closely associated with Irish traditions, particularly around Halloween. It was a staple in the Irish diet, primarily because both potatoes and cabbage or kale were readily available and affordable.
One of the customs associated with colcannon is the inclusion of various charms or trinkets within the dish, which were believed to predict the future. For example, a ring, thimble, or coin might be hidden within the colcannon, and the person who found the ring was said to get married, the thimble signified a life of spinsterhood, and the coin symbolized wealth. This added an element of fun and mystery to the meal, making it a popular choice for Halloween festivities.
Irish Mashed Potatoes has evolved over time, and today it is often served as a side dish with various main courses, especially during the fall and winter months. It is a beloved comfort food in Ireland and is enjoyed not only during Halloween but throughout the year.
While colcannon has a long history in Irish cuisine, its exact origins are not well-documented. Nevertheless, it remains a classic example of the traditional and wholesome foods associated with Ireland.
- 4 to 6 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups kale, chopped
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk or cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and chop the potatoes into roughly equal-sized chunks.
- Place the potato chunks in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt to the water.
- Bring the water to a boil and simmer the potatoes until they are fork-tender, usually for about 15-20 minutes.
- While the potatoes cook, heat the oil in large skillet.
- Add the garlic and kale and saute for a few minutes until wilted and tender. Set aside.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander to remove excess water.
- Add the potatoes back to the pot, add the butter and cream.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher.
- Combine the kale with the mashed potatoes. Mix the mashed potatoes and kale together until well incorporated.
- Serve immediately.