Gluten Free / Potato / Side Dishes / Vegan

The Perfect St Patricks Day Side Dish – Colcannon

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Perfect side dish to Irish stew!

I love mixing greens in with my mash and this classic Irish side dish is a great way to show off how delicious it can be! Savoy cabbage is the star of the show here but I also enjoy leeks, peas, spinach or kale mixed through.

I have to admit I’m not a natural born potato masher, I’m so impatient and I usually give up half way through and either call Scott in to lend a strong arm or we eat it lumpy! I’ve been asking around friends and family to find out some tips for good mashed potato and most people just put in the hard graft (yawn) but two ideas I liked was to stick it in a blender!! That’s got to be super smooth…maybe too smooth! Second idea was to mash the potatoes then spread it out in a dish and put it in the oven on a low heat for an hour, this dissolves the lumps and makes it super creamy! I will have to give it a go!

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Traditional colcannon contains butter, cabbage or kale, cream and often bacon lardons but my recipe contains potatoes and cabbage…. and onions! … and vegan butter! It’s so weird thinking that not too many years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about eating a beef and stout stew with some creamy bacon mash but nowadays it’s such an alien concept to me. I prefer vegetarian options not just because of the ethical factors but also they’re so much more colourful!!

There doesn’t really need to be a formal recipe for Colcannon, boil enough potatoes for the amount of people you are serving. Meanwhile sauté thinly sliced Savoy cabbage and diced onion in some vegan butter and add some salt and pepper. Once the potatoes are really soft drain them then mash with a little more vegan butter and once smooth stir through the cabbage mix and serve hot!

There is even a song about it!

“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.”

Who would have thought a good ole fashioned mashed potato dish could be so celebrated! How do you make your mash??

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