This recipe is easy to pull together in a short time, which makes it perfect for weeknights. One way to change this recipe up is to substitute mustard greens or kale for part of the cabbage. The leftovers (if there are any) make a great filling for pierogis. This dish can be a meal by itself, the star of the show, or just a supporting actor. The choice is up to you.
3-4 potatoes (about 2-2 1/2 lbs), peeked and cut into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups of chopped cabbage
1/2 leek, diced (trim off dark green part)
2 green onions, minced (including the green tops)
1 cup milk or cream (1/2 and 1/2 works too)
Put the cut potatoes into a medium pot and cover with cold water, then add 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain well in a colander, the place in a large bowl.
With the potatoes in a bowl, return the pot to the stove. Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the cabbage (and greens if using them). Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the cabbage is softened and given off some water. If using greens as well, cook until the greens are wilted, about 4-6 minutes. Add the green onions and tops, and cook 1-2 minutes more.
Using a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes with milk or cream and fold into the greens. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and mix in. Reduce the heat to medium. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more butter or milk/cream.
Taste the colcannon, and add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and form into patties, then fry in a few tablespoons of oil until golden.
*optional serving – serve hot with a dollop of butter in the center (more like a thick mashed potatoes).
NOTE: If you are substituting greens for part of the cabbage, I wouldn’t change out more than half of the cabbage. It loses part of the Irish feel if there isn’t enough cabbage.