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.