I can't let St. Patrick's Day go by without sharing this recipe for colcannon, a traditional Irish dish featuring mashed potatoes with ham and cabbage. The recipe comes from an Irish woman named Christabel Rossiter, whom I saw interviewed by Tyler Florence on his Food Network progam on the "ultimate potato" last year. While I plan to cook this again tonight, the photo is from last year when I first made this dish.
yields six servings
3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
2 sticks butter (NOTE: many reviewers suggested half this amount)
1 and 1/4 cups hot milk
fresh ground black pepper
1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 one pound piece of ham or bacon, cooked the day before
4 scallions finely chopped
chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
Directions: steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes. Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop and then mash the potatoes, removing lumps. Add a stick of butter (or less to taste!) in pieces. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring smooth, and the pepper.
Meanwhile boil the cabbage in unsalted water until the color turns darker. Add two tablespoons of butter to tenderize it. Cover with a lid for two minutes. Drain thoroughly, then chop the cabbage into small pieces.
Cover and boil, then simmer the ham for 45 minutes until tender. Drain, remove fat and chop. (Note: I plan to use bacon tonight, which I will fry in a pan.)
Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes and stir gently until combined. Serving suggestion: serve in individual soup plates, making an indentation in the center and adding a bit of butter. Sprinkle with parlsley.
There you have it--the traditional colcannon recipe. Last year I used turkey ham, but this year I plan to use bacon, but reserve some without for my non bacon eating husband. Along with this I will serve:
CORNED BEEF A LA GOLDILOCKS
Is Goldilocks Irish? I don't know. Let's just say I used the Goldilocks method of cooking corned beef today.
First, I placed the beef brisket in my crock pot, as I did last year. But it was too small! I cut off the end of the beef brisket, and poked it down with a spoon, and covered it with water and seasonings. But it still looked too crowded. Would it even boil? "This crock pot is too small!" I said.
So I pulled out my only enameled ironware casserole pot, placed it on the stove top and shlepped the hunks of brisket and water from the crock into the pot. I added more water. It barely covered the beef. Nervously, I brought it up to boil. But it was still too small, and I watched as it boiled over as expected, ready to pounce on it to bring it to a simmer. "This is still too small!" I said.
Then I got out my just-as-narrow, but much deeper, pasta pot, and in a motion than can only be described as "ungainly", I transferred the meat with tongs, and then the hot water, into the third pot.
This one was just right!
Sure and begorrah. (transaltion: "Sure and by God")