Irish Colcannon | March 16, 2017

I had colcannon for the first time a few years ago. My friends and I were having a March potluck and the idea of making it St. Patrick’s Day themed seemed like an obvious conclusion. We all chose dishes that we had not made before and I opted for Colcannon.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that is made with mashed potatoes and cabbage. Apparently, there are limitless ways to make it. You can add leeks, spring onions, boiled ham or Irish bacon. Sometimes kale replaces the cabbage but I have to think that cabbage is probably a little more authentic.

If you shy away from this because of the cabbage – don’t. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, like I was. Trust me when I say that there is enough butter in the colcannon that the cabbage does not have a chance to overpower the rest of the ingredients. Once you have mashed potatoes like this it will be hard to go back to just plain mashed potatoes.

In addition to the potatoes and cabbage, this recipe has leeks, butter, garlic, butter, milk, butter, scallions, and butter. The perfect tool for stirring this part of the recipe is the Tovolo Deep Spoon. The Deep Spoon allows you to not only stir but to also lift out a chunk of potato from the pot to check for doneness. One of the best mashed potato tricks I have learned over the years is to boil the potatoes in chicken broth. This adds SO much flavor and richness to any mashed potato recipe. I usually use half water and half chicken broth. You want to chop the potatoes into pretty even chunks so that they are all done about the same time. You only need enough liquid to cover the potatoes and you want to use a large enough pot so that the potatoes are not crowded.

While the potatoes are cooking, melt some butter then add leeks and cook until the leeks are soft then add the garlic. Once the leeks and garlic are fragrant and just starting to get a little color, add 1 cup of shredded cabbage. Cook the cabbage until wilted. Once the potatoes are done (pierce with a fork and if it goes through easily, they are done) drain the liquid and with the Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher, give them a rough mashing. Add the 2nd cup of cabbage to the potatoes and mash well. Add the warm milk, butter, and vegetable mixture and continue to mash until as smooth or as chunky as you like your potatoes. The great thing about the Tovolo Potato Masher is that because of the silicone, nothing sticks to it! You can just rinse it when you are done instead of having to clean stuck on starchy potato from in between all the loops of a traditional potato masher – or just toss it in the dishwasher.

Once everything is mashed together, use the Tovolo Deep Spoon to transfer it from the pot to a serving dish and add a little more butter. It is a great addition to a traditional Irish feast or to a roasted chicken dinner. It is awesome heated up the next day for potato pancakes or just as is.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


YIELDS 4 servings  |  PREP TIME  45 minutes

Adapted from Bon Appetit




5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¾ pounds)

1 cup chicken broth

Kosher salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 cups (packed) shredded savoy cabbage (from about ¼ large head), divided

1 3/4 cups whole milk

Freshly ground black pepper

1 scallion, thinly sliced


Cover potatoes with water and 1 cup chicken broth, in a medium pot; season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until a paring knife slides easily through the flesh, 30–40 minutes. Drain, let cool slightly.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and leeks are just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes longer. Add 1 cup cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Add milk and cream and bring to a simmer.

Add potatoes and remaining 1 cup cabbage, then coarsely mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer colcannon to a large serving bowl. Top with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and sprinkle with scallion.