Take the best mashed potatoes you ever had and add sweet cabbage, bacon and fried onions and you get this hearty Colcannon that satisfies. Expect the family to ask for 2nds and 3rds. If you have any leftover (unlikely but possible) you can reheat it easily.
Colcannon is a fun, hearty side dish I pull out to go with beef, pork and chicken. I adore mashed potatoes more than the average person but even I like to switch up the side dish occasionally. Of course Colcannon pairs beautifully with corned beef brisket and is a natural choice for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime you are serving Irish food. The simple but filling flavors of Colcannon always make me think of a cold night in Ireland and a farmer coming in from the fields to a simple meal with his family.
Why We Love Colcannon
When winter rolls around Colcannon seems a natural choice to me. Rich, creamy mashed potatoes are stirred up with big chunks of salty bacon and heaps of fried green cabbage.
Every bite feels soothing – like good country food from the heart. With the bacon it is sold enough to be a main dish if you really wanted it to but I usually serve it as a side dish.
What is Irish Colcannon?
Colcannon is a traditional Irish side dish made with creamy mashed potatoes, lightly sautéed cabbage and big old chunks of crispy bacon! Generally Colcannon recipes have multiple variations that come from various family traditions. Recipes range from dishes full of kale and scallions to versions like this with cabbage and bacon.
The basis of Colcannon is always mashed potatoes with some sort of green garden vegetable stirred in.
How to Reheat Colcannon
- To Reheat Colcannon in a Microwave: Add a splash of milk to the potatoes and microwave one minute at a time stirring until hot through.
- To Reheat Colcannon on the Stovetop: Add a splash of milk to the potatoes and heat in a saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently until hot through.
- To Make Colcannon Patties (Potato Pancakes): Alternately you can form patties of the colcannon and fry in a bit of oil for leftover colcannon pancakes! Serve with over easy eggs and more bacon or sausage!
More Irish Recipes
Colcannon is a lovely side dish throughout the year but it is perfect to serve with Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day. These are some of our favorite Irish recipes.
- Corned Beef Brisket in The Oven
- Corned Beef Hash
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- How to Make Corned Beef Dinner
Best Potato Recipes
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (see note #1)
- 8 strips thick cut bacon
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 6 cups green cabbage thinly sliced (about 1/2 a cabbage)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt (divided)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (see note #2)
- Peel potatoes and cut into about 8 chunks for each potato.
- Place potatoes in a large pot of cool water, enough to cover. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan and cook on high until the potatoes come to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to about medium, the potatoes should be simmering nicely. Crack the lid on top and set a timer for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the strips of bacon into ½” chunks. In a large heavy bottom pan, fry on medium-high until the bacon just starts to crisp. Use a slotted spoon to put the bacon on a few layers of paper towels to drain.
- Remove all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease. Add the sliced cabbage and the diced sweet onion to the 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease. Add the ½ teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until the cabbage and onion are tender with only a tiny bit of crunch.
- Put cream, butter, black pepper and chicken bouillon into a small microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Stir. Butter should be mostly melted.
- When potatoes are easy to pierce with a fork drain them well.
- Put drained potatoes back in the pot and add the cream mixture. Whip with an electric mixer or mash with a potato masher until they are just creamy and few chunks remain.
- Fold in the cabbage / onion mixture and bacon. (You can save some of the bacon to sprinkle on top if you like)
- Serve hot with corned beef or your favorite main meat dish.
How to Reheat Colcannon
- To reheat Colcannon in a microwave: Add a splash of milk to the potatoes and microwave one minute at a time stirring until hot through.
- To reheat Colcannon on the stovetop: Add a splash of milk to the potatoes and heat in a saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently until hot through.
- Alternately you can form patties of the colcannon and fry in a bit of oil for leftover colcannon pancakes! Serve with over easy eggs and more bacon or sausage!
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