This version of a traditional Irish dish brings together four of the most amazing ingredients – potatoes, cabbage, kale and bacon to make a very filling and delicious side dish – Irish Mashed Potatoes with Bacon, or Colcannon.
In this Irish Mashed Potato recipe you got all the nutrients in one place: starches from potatoes, fiber from kale and cabbage, and protein from bacon and cream.
To make Colcannon, just boil the potatoes, cook the bacon, then cook kale and cabbage in the bacon fat, mix it all together with butter and cream.
Equipment needed to make Irish Mashed Potatoes with Bacon
You will need a medium pan to boil the potatoes in and a skillet to cook bacon in as well sauté cabbage and kale. I used a cast iron skillet such as this 12 inch Lodge Pro-Logic Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet – it’s well designed, has a helper handle and sloped sides – very sleek looking for cast iron! And it’s one of my most used kitchen tools!
What makes this Irish Mashed Potatoes recipe great is that you can adjust the proportions of potatoes, greens, butter, and milk. Want to use more cabbage? Yes, please! Add some Brussels sprouts into the mixture? Why not?
Health Benefits of Cabbage Colcannon
Cabbage contain many different antioxidants that have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation, it improves digestion, provides us with fiber and keeps heart healthy!
Kale is also quite a superfood that has been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer and support the body’s natural detoxification system. Kale is rich in Omega-3’s and vitamin K, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
And how about all these anti-inflammatory qualities of cabbage and kale COMBINED?! Maybe I should have named these healthy Irish Mashed Potatoes!
Irish Mashed Potatoes are also called Colcannon, which means “white-headed cabbage” in Irish and apparently it is also a name of a song about this dish. Maybe we should all listen to eat while cooking and eating this dish!
Now back to the actual Irish Mashed Potatoes.
Kale and cabbage in Irish Mashed Potatoes
Someone on the Facebook noted that kale should not be used in Colcannon due to its bitter taste. I personally really liked the addition of kale here and didn’t find it tasting bitter at all.
Cooked kale doesn’t taste bitter, but it does have a fresher flavor compared to cabbage and when sautéed with garlic, it takes on a uniquely delicious flavor. I highly recommend adding it to your Irish Mashed Potatoes to see what I’m talking about.
Colcannon and Halloween in Ireland
I’ve read on Wikipedia that Colcannon is commonly served at Halloween in Ireland. A ring or a coin is hidden in the dish, and the recipient is supposed to be blessed with marriage or wealth in the following year. How nice!
Well, I’m so glad to have decided to make Irish Mashed Potatoes because I never realized until today how well cabbage fits into mashed potato-butter combination. And because it was so filling, that’s all we had for dinner tonight.
I love eating potatoes and can have them every day because they are so versatile:
- Instant Pot Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Southern Potato Salad with Mustard, Eggs and Pickles
- Buttery Mashed Potato Pie with Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese
- Cheddar, Thyme and Beer Potatoes Au Gratin
And if you need more ideas for your holiday table, please check out these amazing holiday recipes:
- Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin
- Brown Sugar Dijon Glazed Pork Loin
- Brussels Sprouts Cranberry Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
- Grand Marinier Cranberry Sauce
Colcannon - Irish Mashed Potatoes
- 1 lb. red potatoes
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 cup cabbage shredded
- 1 cup kale shredded
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Cut, but do not peel, the potatoes into one-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a fork (about 10 minutes). Drain the potatoes in a colander.
- While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon. Chop the bacon and cook it in a large skillet on medium high until nice and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon pieces from the skillet, but keep the fat.
- Prepare the cabbage and kale by cutting it into thin strips. You will have 1 cup of cabbage and 1 cup of kale. Also mince the garlic. Add 2 tablespoons butter, garlic, cabbage and kale to the now empty skillet and cook until wilted for 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes to the skillet with cabbage and kale. Now add 1 tablespoon butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper, and bring to a light boil. Using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until smooth and thoroughly incorporated with cabbage and kale. Add the bacon pieces back to the skillet and taste to see if more seasoning is necessary.
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