Thursday, March 18, 2010
Above maybe all else, the Irish are known for their potatoes. They don't eat as many as they used to, but still, about 300 pounds per person per year today.
The American traditional St Patrick's meal is corned beef and cabbage. Well, we used to do this, and I used to look forward to it, and then about two years in a row, I tasted it, and thought...geez this is gross. So fatty, so salty, and just, yuck. I am sure the plastic-sealed corned beef probably was not the best, and if i remember, boiling huge chunks of cabbage and carrots and potatoes together...yeah. Anyways, not my favorite.
On the other hand...this recipe rocks! From what I hear, a common theme in Irish recipes is potatoes, cabbage and meat. I think most colcannon recipes are that way. I will look around to see.
Alright then. Got off on a little Jib Jab, even before we got to business.
4 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered (I used red and yukon, but russets are fine too)
2 sticks butter (1/2 pound) (in the end, I didn't use it all)
1 1/4 C hot milk (just use the microwave - keeps your 'tates warm while mashing)
fresh ground black pepper
1 large head cabbage - cored and finely shredded into strips
12 oz bacon strips (the Irish would probably use a chunk of ham or bacon, boiled) fry the bacon, not too crisp, chop finely. remove as much fat as possible with paper towels.
4 scallions, finely chopped (I omitted, due to dietary restrictions of a guest/sister)
chopped fresh parsley for garnish - use a lot
Boil potatoes for about 20-30 minutes, until tender. Pour out the water, and start adding the butter and slowly add in the milk while mashing. Add some ground pepper to taste. Set aside.
Steam cabbage strips in a tiny bit of water, until they darken. Just a couple minutes or so. Add two Tbsp butter, and cover for 2 minutes. Drain if there is too much liquid. Remove from pan, and chop it up small. Add to mashed potatoes.
Add chopped bacon and scallions to mashed potatoes. If needed, and it may not, add salt/pepper to taste.
Serve a dollop on each plate, with a big divot/crater in the top, which you can add a pat of butter, followed by lots of fresh chopped parsley for garnish.
Final Jib Jab
At first, I hesitated on this recipe, which seemed too complicated, and would take too long. In the end, it has a few steps, but each step is easy, and I simplified the meat by using sliced bacon. I should have doubled this recipe. It really went over well. Better than I thought. I made a vegetarian version for the girls, and skipped the scallions for my sis, and everybody loved it, and there were no left overs! I didn't add the dollop of butter on everyone's, but did on a couple. It's tasty, and not necessary....