You'll usually find a potato served at every meal in Ireland. They could be boxty (a traditional potato pancake) at breakfast, a side of fat chips at lunch, and mashed or roasted for dinner.
Colcannon is a dish traditionally associated with the feast of Samhain (Halloween). During the feast to celebrate the end of the year and the entry into the ‘dark half' of the season, many foods were used to tell fortunes.
Small charms were placed in the potatoes predicting what the coming year would bring.
Though charms would vary by location these types were common: drawing a coin foretold wealth in the coming year, finding a thimble meant you would remain a spinster or bachelor, and a ring meant that you would be married within the next year.
Looking at the meal practically, the cabbage probably needed to be used up in late October and mashing them in with potatoes added vitamins and nutrients to the dish.
Easy Colcannon Recipe
A recipe for colcannon isn't truly necessary. It's a very simple dish of boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage, mashed together with beautiful golden butter.
When I can't find a nice head of cabbage I will make colcannon with collard greens. You can also add scallions, chives, or bits of bacon for flavor and color.
Traditional Irish Colcannon
A surprisingly easy and tasty dish. Try these in place of your regular mashed potatoes! Add extra flavor with scallions, chives, or bacon.
- 1 (nice sized) head of cabbage
- 5-6 peeled potatoes (use floury, baking type potatoes. Russet potatoes are perfect.)
- 1 bunch scallions
- Lots of butter (at least a stick) preferably Kerrygold
- Salt & pepper
- Chopped, cooked bacon
Wash and cut the cabbage and potatoes into chunks.
Wash & chop the scallions.
Put all into a large pot, cover with water, and boil.
When potatoes are fork tender (check at 20 minutes and then again every 5 until done) remove from heat & mash.
Add butter, salt & pepper to taste.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 165mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g