Colcannon made richer and more flavorful with the addition of brown butter and bacon. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.
They say there are two kinds of people in the world. The Irish and those who want to be Irish.
I absolutely get that. I know why you would want to be Irish. After all, the Irish gave us color photography…
They gave us potato chips…
They gave us chocolate milk…
They gave us Guinness…
And most importantly, they gave us shenanigans…
Okay, okay, seriously, if not for any of the reasons above, this next one surely is the clincher…
They gave us Colcannon.
Colcannon is Irish mashed potatoes with chopped cabbage or kale mixed in. Traditionally, it’s made simply with boiled potatoes and either sautéed cabbage or kale. Butter and milk are also added, just like any other mashed potatoes variations.
It’s considered a staple in Irish households and there are many regional variations. Some cooks add chives, leeks, or onions to their colcannon. Colcannon is so beloved in Ireland that there have been songs written about it.
I find the name to be very interesting. According to Wikipedia, Colcannon may come from the Irish words cál ceannann, which means white-headed cabbage.
Isn’t that interesting? I’m surprised I didn’t try making Colcannon sooner since I’m usually drawn to things with interesting names.
Imagine if this was called mashed potatoes and cabbage. Would you be interested?
Okay, you may still be interested. But admit it, it sounds much better to be making Colcannon than making mashed potatoes and cabbage, doesn’t it?
I swear it’s all just in the name when it comes to food. That’s why I move that Corned Beef should be renamed Yummy Salty and Peppery Beef. Since obviously, there’s no corn involved whatsoever in Corned Beef. What do you think?!
Colcannon is very easy to make. If you can make mashed potatoes, you can make Colcannon. It’s basically just mashed potatoes with either cabbage or kale added to it.
You can add leeks or spring onions or chives to it, too. And you can also add parsley to it. And you can add bacon to it as well. It’s up to you. It’s your Colcannon.
When I made it the first time I was impressed how well it turned out. My family loved it and asked for more.
So, the next time I made it, I improved it even further by adding brown butter.
Oh my Lord! That’s all I’m going to say.
Brown butter should be the answer to all my problems!
Browning butter makes it…um…how should I describe it? It makes it richer. It makes it more flavorful. Basically, browning makes butter even more buttery.
So I’d say if you’re going to eat butter, anyway, you might as well eat brown butter.
And if you’re going to eat mashed potatoes, anyway, you might as well eat Colcannon.
- 2 - 3 pounds of potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet)
- 2 cups chopped cabbage or kale
- 1 cup milk, scalded (*see notes)
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
- 4 green onions, chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- Scrub or peel potatoes, cut into large chunks. Place in a big pot and add enough cold water to cover. (You can flavor the boiling water, if you like, with either chicken bouillon or salt. This is optional.)
- Boil until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Mash either with a potato masher or potato ricer. Set aside and keep warm.
- Start browning the butter. Cut butter into chunks, place in a small saucepan (preferably with light-colored bottom so you can see the browning stages).
- Cook butter on medium heat. It will start to foam as it melts. Swirl the pan every now and then or use a spatula to stir.
- Continue cooking until butter turns light brown. Remove from heat and set aside. It will continue to darken. Don't wait until it's dark brown to stop cooking; you may end up with burnt butter.
- Use about 2 tablespoons of the butter to sauté the cabbage/kale and green onions until vegetables are soft.
- Mix vegetables into mashed potatoes. Add scalded milk and more brown butter (reserving some for drizzling before serving). Stir to mix evenly. Add salt and pepper.
- Before serving, add bacon and more brown butter.
If you like this recipe, please give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the comments section below. Thanks!
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Julie is Hostess At Heart says
I’ve never heard of colcannon until this year, and it just sounds like it would be an amazing comfort food and brown butter is great in anything!
I did make extra brown butter, a lot extra ?? I’m going to see if I can whip them for spreading on toasts. I think it’d be awesome!
Sounds yummy, Angie. If you are catering for a vegetarian what would you do to replace the bacon? I have heard of fakin bacon, but it’s probably as awful as those vegetarian sausages are. 🙂
Just omit the bacon. It doesn’t really need it. We just love bacon so we put it on everything ?
OK, you got me Angie! I am sold on Colcannon! And brown butter for that matter! 🙂
Make extra brown butter! That’s all I’m going to say ? I used it for an omelette and OMG!!
This is the first time I hear about colcannon. I love the ingredients. Everything with cabbage sounds good to me)
Oh I’m glad to hear you like cabbage, coz I’m now looking into more recipes with cabbage. It’s like dirt cheap around St. Patrick’s Day so I bought 3 heads!!
I prefer the name Yummy Salty and Peppery Beef over Corned Beef.
And I prefer this Colcannon over the oldie mashed potatoes (though this is the first time I am hearing this name – so catchy). It sounds better with all the add ins… and looks happy, too. 😀 This is so good! Send me some? 😛
It’s all yours, Jhuls! You would get along so well with my daughter. She was like…oh, mom, can I have more of the colcannon? And proceeded to finish the entire bowl!! ??
Hmm, since I am older than your daughter, I will not have a spoon-fight with her because I am 100% like that. 😀 We can take the rest half-half. 😛
Haha…I can just imagine you spoon fighting!!
I could do spoon fighting with one hand while the other one is taking the bowl! Yeah! 😀
You’re too funny, Jhuls! ???
OMG I have actually tasted it in Dublin a few years back! The server had the appropriate accent as well! It sounds something like kulcanon 😉 It was so delice!!!! I can’t believe i finally got the recipe!!! Thank you !!!!
Oh I’m so glad to hear! It really is a wonderful side dish. Or if you’re like my daughter, this is like a full meal in itself. Let me know how you like it if you do try it. ??
I will!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Btw, when you had it in Dublin, it probably didn’t use brown butter. That’s my own twist. And I know some people also cook their potatoes in water flavored with chicken bouillon. They’re all good variations!
yeah i think so… I do that to the potatoes as well when i mash them! I cook them in flavoured water.
This looks wonderful, all of it, wish I could grab a bowl all to myself :). Love the bowl too xo
Thanks, Loretta! It’s very, very good! But then I always love mashed potatoes 🙂
Johanne Lamarche says
Never knew what colcannon was but know I would love it especially with brown butter! I made a lot of extra brown butter bread crumbs from a recipe from Julie of Hostess at Heart last fall and putting them over all kinds of dishes made for heavenly food while they lasted. Might be time for another batch!
Oh that’s a great idea making brown butter bread crumbs. I did make 1 pound of brown butter so I have a lot left over. I’ve been using it in everything myself. So darn good!! ??
Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons says
Looks delicious Angie! Great addition.
Thanks, Liz! This one is a keeper for sure ?
I’ve never heard of colcannon before, but, as I can see is a potatoes recipe so…should be delicious, and it looks delicious!
Thanks! It really is like a loaded mashed potatoes. Really, really yummy! And easy to make! ?
The Hungry Mum says
brown butter rocks my world! I can imagine how fab this dish would taste with the addition of brown butter x
Lol, brown butter changed my life, too! 1000% better! It added so much flavor to the colcannon! ?
Zeba@Food For The Soul says
Much like others I have never heard of colcannon before,,,,I love brown butter and love potatoes and love kale:) Look forward to making this. Thanks for sharing Angie.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated pretty big around where I live so I’m familiar with many dishes served on the day. This one is one of the best, I think. Thanks, Zeba!
Agness of Run Agness Run says
This is a truly delightful and mouth-watering dish, Angie! Your recipe was very intriguing. What kind of milk do you usually use? Is it possible to use coconut or almond milk?
I use just regular milk, sometimes whole but mostly 2%. I’m pretty sure you can use either coconut or almond milk but each will give you a different flavor. If you don’t want to use milk, just omit it, but add warm broth instead to loosen the consistency of the mashed potatoes. This is a good one, Agness!
Reminds me of Dutch stamppot made with carrot-onion-potato mash under a large slab of bacon or add the bacon in…. I don’t add bacon to mine, but I think the brown butter would be awesome!
Yes, it’s very much like Stamppot, which I love. The brown butter adds so much flavor! Thanks for stopping by.