Colcannon is a steadfast stable in Ireland. Potatoes and cabbage are common and readily available - so combining them seems to be a thing. While boiled potato and boiled cabbage sounds like a punishment reminiscent of 1970's family dinners rather than a celebration - our take on it elevates it to a side that is decadent, comforting and delicious.
1-1.25 kg potatoes of the best potatoes you can find - try to buy ones around the same size
200 g cabbage or kale torn into small pieces with the stems removed
A couple of sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf and some rosemary
1 cup of full fat milk
A generous pinch (or two) sea salt flakes
A generous grind of black pepper
1 small clove of garlic
4 spring onions
150 grams unsalted butter
Make sure your potatoes are clean. Place the whole potatoes into a large pot of salted water with the herbs and bring to the boil.
Cook until they tender when you pierce with a paring knife - about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile gently saute in a tablespoon of the butter the kale or cabbage until just soft and wilted. Set aside.
Finely slice the spring onions. Set these aside.
Gently strain the potatoes - you want them to stay intact so they don't get waterlogged and soggy. Place the large pot back on the stove top (with the heat off) and pop the potatoes back in. You want to dry them off with the heat of the pot.
Using a potato ricer, squeeze the potatoes through discarding the skins. Warm the milk in a milk pan (or the microwave) with the clove of garlic in it. The garlic will infuse just a little to add a bit of a kaboom to your potato.
Place the riced potato pot on a low heat add 1/2 of the remaining butter and start to work the potato with a wooden spoon. You want a rustic mash but not too chunky. Remove the garlic clove from the milk and discard, then slowly add milk to the potatoes, mixing all the time. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fold in the sautéed cabbage or kale and mix through. Add the remainder of the butter to the frypan you cooked the cabbage/kale in, and gently heat until the butter turns a golden colour. Add most of the butter to the potato and mix. Add the spring onions and stir through.
Pop the potato mix into a serving bowl and drizzle the rest of the browned butter over the top. Sprinkle salt flakes and more pepper over the buttered potatoes. Let's face it: you can't have too much butter, too much crunchy salt or pepper.
It might be a slight variation from the tradition. But oh my. It is good. Butter makes everything better! Traditionally it would be served with corned beef - but it is seriously good with steak. Or on it's own.....