Colcannon with Crispy Leeks
Traditional Irish colcannon is a comforting and delicious potato mash that includes cabbage and green onions. There are many variations, however.
This recipe takes basic colcannon, and modernizes it with some cream, more butter, and crispy leeks.
According to Melissa Clark, from New York Times Cooking: “The fried leeks aren’t traditional: Usually, the alliums are stewed more slowly in butter, if they’re used at all. But they lend a deeper flavor, and a crisp, savory finish. For a full meal, crown it with a fried egg or some smoked salmon, or serve a simple green salad on the side.“
Colcannon with Crispy Leeks
By Melissa Clark, slightly adapted
2 pounds potatoes, peeled if you like, cut into 2-inch chunks
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sliced leeks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 cups sliced green cabbage
Chicken broth, a few tablespoons
1/4 cup heavy cream
White pepper, not in the original recipe
In a medium pot, combine the potatoes with enough water to cover them by 2 inches and a large pinch of salt. Boil until tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter, along with a drizzle of oil, then add leeks and a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat for 5 or so minutes. When the leeks are golden, spoon some out onto a plate to use for garnish.
To the leeks in the pan, add the garlic cloves, and cook them for a minute until fragrant. Then, toss in the cabbage.
Season with more salt and cook, tossing them, until the cabbage and leeks are wilted and very tender. If the pan looks dry, add a splash of water or broth.
Now add the potatoes to the skillet and mash them (so they’re either smooth or chunky), cream, and the remaining 3 tablespoons butter.
Taste, and add more salt and lots of pepper. I used white pepper instead of black. You can see how creamy the mixture is.
Place the colcannon mash in a serving bowl, top with the fried leeks, and add more butter, if desired, to create little butter pools on the potatoes! See the pool?!
This colcannon mash would be fabulous as part of a turkey feast or ham, or sausage, or a midnight snack.
I served this colcannon with tri-tip that I cooked in the sous vide. Yummy combination.
If I were to make this recipe again, I’d double the amount of leeks. If you noticed, the leeks I’d saved to sprinkle over the whole dish of colcannon nicely covered my one serving shown in the photos.
This is so yummy and jam packed with flavours! The tri-tip looks really tender and juicy.
It was my first time finally making a colcannon, and it was as good as I expected! The leeks were an extra treat.
This is very interesting! I’m not a fan of leeks but I’ll give it a try 😉
You could use green onions!
Hmmm…good idea 😉
Or make the traditional colcannon. I really enjoyed it.
I’ve only had this in a restaurant, didn’t realize how easy it is to make at home.
So easy, just a few ingredients, plus butter! I maybe didn’t sauté the cabbage long enough but I enjoyed the bit of crunch in the potato mash.
LOVE colcannon, and my inn guest adored it too. I would serve it with a poached egg on top and sometimes added local sausage crumbles.
Yum. All of that sounds so good.
I first made this a few years ago and I loaded it up with leeks and cabbage – you could hardly see the potatoes! It’s a great dish – I served it for St. Patrick’s Day and with sausages I believe. Either way the potatoes are the star – your version looks delicious!
What a perfect meal! I’d eat that every day if I could!
So could I!
Hi Mimi, as you might expect, I’m now in the heart healthy culinary world. But this will work, I’ll just have to substitute a small bit of olive oil for the butter and give low fat milk a go in it. Sounds wonderfully comforting just now…
Oh I’m sorry. But that’s not a terrible sacrifice overall. They would definitely be good with olive oil and milk. Glad you’re okay.
I have seen the word colcannon but never really understood what it is. Looks delicious.
It is a funny word! Not as funny as Cullen skink!
Cream, more butter, and crispy leeks definitely that colcannon is the best out there
Thanks! I loved it!
How’ve I never heard of this before! And I love both potatoes and cabbage! So, this is for me.
You’ll love it then! I think the name is a bit off putting – like you’re not sure that it’s really a food!
Colcannon is such a terrific dish! The leeks are a nice touch — like that idea. Thanks!
I keep forgetting to order leeks! That looks really good with the tri-tip.
Thanks. Leeks are so sweet and lovely.
Thank you so much Mimi ! This beauty brings back the memories of our last trip before all these lock outs started. Great to know how to make it at home though ….
You don’t have to do the leeks, but it was a nice touch.