Colcannon with Red Onion & Bacon
A skinnier version of the traditional Irish dish, with the addition of red onion and a bit of (lean) bacon.
I have a fascination for Ireland and all things Irish … every year for St. Patrick’s day for sooo many years, I have been making corned beef and cabbage. It was only recently I discovered that corned beef and cabbage is not really what the Irish make for St. Patrick’s Day, so each year since this discovery, I’m trying to make something a little more authentic. Last year it was Irish Cabbage & Potato Soup with Ham (the Irish use bacon, but their bacon is more like our ham).
Calcannon IS a traditional Irish dish, traditionally made with lots of butter and kale or cabbage, and sometimes bacon, leek or onion is tossed in. I slimmed it down by using less butter (while preserving that wonderful buttery taste) and tossing in extra cabbage and a goodly amount of red onions. One taste and I was wondering why ever did I took SO long to make this … did you know there’s even a song written about this marvelous dish? I found this on Wikipedia:
“Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?
Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.”
After just one taste of Colcannon, I totally understand why they would sing this … and I so wish I had discovered this dish earlier, to make for my children when they were little, so they would feel the same way. Personally, I am so in love with Colcannon. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner … or maybe, all three. Just Colcannon, nothing else, and feel like singing because the taste of Colcannon is comforting, like your favorite childhood memories.
- About 1 lb. red or golden potatoes, peeled
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 slice lean bacon, cooked but still floppy, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/4 of a small head)
- 2 Tablespoons milk or fat free half & half
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Peel the potatoes and put them in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain off the water and put the potatoes in a medium mixing bowl.
- Cut a pat of butter off for the top, then put the rest of the butter in the saucepan over medium heat to melt. Add the onion and bacon, cover and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft. Add the cabbage and cook for about 3 - 5 minutes longer, again covering the pan, but lifting it to stir every minute or so, until the cabbage is wilted and partly tender but still has a bit of crunch.
- Now, using a fork, mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher, adding milk or half & half to moisten as needed. Stir in the cabbage mixture and season to taste with salt & freshly ground pepper. Serve hot, making a well in the center for the reserved pat of butter.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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