Colcannon & The Irish
I swear there are people in this world that have 1% Irish in their blood who then claim their entire heritage to be “Irish.” Really? Your great, great, great, great grandmama might have been half-Irish… but that doesn’t make you Irish by default.
I can understand though. Who wouldn’t want to be Irish? Just look at the place!
My love for Irish things comes from many different areas. It just so happens that The Husband is a quarter Irish, half Polish and quarter English. The Polish is really obvious when he trots around the house in sandals and black socks pulled up to his knees… but don’t tell him I told you about that. He’s very protective of his Pollock genes. The Irish in him is really apparent when he starts talking like an arse… but that could be the New Yorker in him too. Who knows. Our name is all English.
What really inspired my love for cooking Irish foods is my former boss’s wife, Christina… who happens to be 100% Irish… as in, she immigrated here from Ireland. The real deal. None of this impostor Irish shite (not translating that). The woman couldn’t cook worth a lick though. Christina used to have me come to her house to make childhood dishes for her. She’d hand me a Gansey-Load (Many. Lots. An excess.) of brittle pieces of paper with strange words on them for me to decipher and cook.
The recipes were Sound-as-a-Pound (Very reliable.) as they were from the old country. So… get off your Arse (you don’t really need a translation for that do you?), grab a Jar of Dark (pint of stout) and get in the kitchen!
Recipe from Christina… the luvely Irish Ma of mine… Oh, how I miss her.
2 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 T olive oil
4 slices bacon, diced about 1/2″
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 head Savoy cabbage (I used Napa), halved lengthwise, then sliced
1/2 c to 1 c milk (depending on your potatoes)
4 T butter
1/4 t freshly ground nutmeg
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Cut the potatoes into large chunks, about an 1″ in size. Place in large pot of lightly salted water and bring to a boil.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside. To the oil, add the sliced leeks and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced cabbage to the leeks and saute until tender and wilted. Stir in the bacon to heat through again. Season with salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are tender, drain and return the potatoes to the hot pot to get rid of excess water. Add butter and about 1/2 c milk to the potatoes and mash until fluffy adding milk if necessary, careful not to get them too watery.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour cabbage and leek mixture into the mashed potatoes and combine. Season with nutmeg, taste and re-season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a casserole dish and make a slight well in the center. Place 1 T butter in the well of potatoes and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes. The butter will be all melty and gooey…
Serve with thyme spiced pork chops and enjoy.
More Irish recipes coming all weekend!