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Published March 16, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This creamy delicious Colcannon recipe is loaded up with braised cabbage and tossed with crispy bacon and leeks. You will only want to eat mashed potatoes like this from now on after tasting these.
Whether you just love Irish recipes or are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you should serve up this Colcannon with my Homemade Bangers and Mash recipe and with a slice of this Irish Apple Cake for dessert.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe consisting of mashed potatoes and cooked cabbage. It also had some nuances to it as ingredients were added, or taken away, depending on what was available in the garden. You may see some colcannon recipes with pork, and you may not.
This is commonly served on big occasions and widely celebrated at Halloween in Ireland. Colcannon is a staple side dish at big occasions with friends and family alongside pork or lamb, but it is absolutely filling enough to eat it as is as a main course.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Potatoes – A red rooster potato is the most traditional to use, but I prefer a combination of Yukon gold and russets.
- Cabbage – Savoy cabbage is what you should use, but you can substitute for green cabbage or kale.
- Onion – leeks and green onions will add an incredible amount of flavor to this.
- Fat – Whole unsalted butter, milk, and heavy whipping cream are used in my recipe.
- Pork – This is optional, but it adds a ridiculous amount of deliciousness to this colcannon.
How to Make Colcannon
Use these easy-to-follow procedures to make this tasty colcannon recipe:
Add some butter, milk, and cream to a medium-size pot, and heat over very low heat. Keep warm.
Next, cook the bacon in a large rondeau pot or frying pan over medium heat until very crispy and browned.
Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside, and then add the leeks to the pan and cook them in the rendered bacon fat for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add in the cabbage, season with salt, and cook over medium-low heat for 6-7 minutes or until very tender. Keep warm.
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
Before removing the potatoes, quickly mix in the green onions with the milk mixture.
Strain the potatoes completely and then mash them through a food mill.
Fold in the milk and green onion mixture until combined and then fold in the cabbage, salt, and pepper until combined. Serve.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten when it is done cooking.
How to Store: They can be stored in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen covered for up to 2 months; however, they will lose quite a bit of moisture and flavor if frozen.
How to Reheat: Add your desired portion to a small saucepot with a little bit of butter or milk and heat over low heat until hot. In addition, you can simply add them to the microwave and heat them until hot.
chef notes + tips
- This is a meal in of itself and can be enjoyed by itself much like a soup, which is kept warm all day.
- If you do not have a food mill, feel free to use a hand masher or electric hand beaters.
- You can swap out both the whole milk and heavy whipping cream in combination for half and half.
- Do not caramelize the cabbage when cooking, just sweat until tender.
More Irish Recipes
Irish Colcannon Recipe
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces sliced bacon, thickly sliced
- 1 thinly sliced leek
- 1 head thinly sliced savoy cabbage, stem removed
- 2 pounds peeled and thinly sliced russet potatoes
- 2 pounds peeled and thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 bunch thinly sliced green onions
- salt and ground white pepper to taste
- Add the butter, milk, and cream to a medium size pot, and heat over very low heat. Keep warm.
- Next, add the bacon to a large rondeau pot or frying pan over medium heat and cook until very crispy and browned, which takes about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside, and then add the leeks to the pan and cook them in the rendered bacon fat for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in the cabbage, season with salt, and cook over medium-low heat for 6-7 minutes or until very tender. Keep warm.
- Boil the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes or until tender. They should cook in that amount of time if you thinly slice them.
- Before removing the potatoes, quickly mix in the green onions with the warm milk and butter mixture just to heat them up.
- Strain the potatoes completely and then mash them through a food mill.
- Fold in the butter-milk and green onion mixture until combined and then fold in the cabbage, bacon, salt, and pepper until combined. Serve.