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Creamy Colcannon with Irish Cheddar

There are so many things you can do with potatoes, especially when making side dishes. Just ask my family what their favourite potato recipes are and you will get a whole host of replies. Fries! Mashed potatoes! Uh…how about more fries? Yes, there is no shortage of potato-related ideas luckily, but one thing I love to do with the humble potato is make colcannon, a typical Irish dish which pairs with just about everything. This is basically mashed potatoes with cabbage and cheese. It’s important to use a good cheese, and I’ve found the Kerrygold brand to be perfect here. In fact, I often add a little extra cheese to the mix.

Along with the cabbage and cheese, I add milk, salt, onion, butter and black pepper, and those are all the ingredients you’re going to need to get that Irish flavour just right. As for toppings, why not crumble some bacon on top or add some spring onions or chives for a splash of colour? Serve this with anything from sausages or pork chops to steak, chicken or even a hardy fish like cod or salmon. Yes, the bacon does complement the fish believe it or not!

Some people might want to try kale instead of the cabbage and that’s also fine (of course the Irish are more associated with their cabbage than their kale, these days you’ll find ‘anything goes’ so simply add your favourite green vegetable). Serve this instead of your usual plain mash, and see how everyone loves the cheese and bacon additions. In fact, this tastes so good I bet your kids won’t even notice you sneaked that cabbage in there! Try it and see.

Mashed Potatoes Irish Style
Summary: This typical Irish side dish is made with potatoes, cabbage and plenty of milk and butter, all mashed together in creamy perfection. We like it topped with crumbled bacon.
Cuisine: Irish
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 900g (2 lbs) unpeeled chopped red potatoes
  • 180ml (¾ cup) whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 chopped medium yellow onion
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter (don't use margarine!)
  • 285g (10 oz) finely shredded green cabbage (or kale)
  • 115g (4 oz) shredded Kerrygold Irish cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper, to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • Extra salted butter, as needed
  • 4 crumbled cooked strips of bacon
  • 4 chopped chives or 2 chopped spring onions (green onions), green part only
  1. First boil the potatoes for 20 minutes in lightly salted water or until tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, you can sauté the yellow onion in the butter in a large pan for 10 minutes or until tender.
  3. Now add the cabbage to the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. When you've done that, the potatoes should be just about tender.
  5. Drain the cooked potatoes and mash in their skins, pouring in the milk and adding salt as you mash.
  6. Add the cabbage mixture to the potatoes, then stir in the cheese and grind in some black pepper.
  7. You can either serve the colcannon like this, or make a well in the middle then add butter so it can melt in there.
  8. Also sprinkle on some bacon and/or chives or spring onions if liked.

Photo Description:

Colcannon should be served piping hot for the best results, and this side dish goes with pretty much everything. This creamy mashed potatoes recipe includes cabbage, cheddar cheese, milk, onion, and more, and we like to add bacon and spring onion or chives on top, although that is up to you. Try it both ways and I bet you prefer the ‘with bacon’ option! This is a very simple side dish and it complements all kinds of meals; colcannon is just as pleasing with a steak or pie as with corned beef or a nice piece of brisket. This recipe makes quite a lot but I promise you won’t have any leftovers!

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine and I would like to welcome you to TeaTime Recipes. Tea has always been a favourite of mine and I adore the tradition of serving this wonderful beverage with all kinds of little snacks both sweet and savoury. Read More