I found this wickedly delicious-sounding recipe for a really creamy colcannon in the March 2005 edition of the BBC Good Food magazine. It is a part of Irish cook Kevin Dundon’s suggested St Patrick’s Day dinner menu. As he says, ‘Side dishes don’t come more Irish than creamy colcannon’. I really like the sound of his colcannon, because of its decadent creaminess, because Savoy cabbage is so much tastier than other varieties and because this is certainly my favourite way to cook cabbage: with bacon rather than boiled in water. Sounds like an any-time-of-year dish to me! Well I shan’t be waiting until 17 March 2006 before making it anyway!
1 Kg potato, well-scrubbed, cut any large ones in half
100 G butter
140 G back bacon, sliced, then finely chopped
1/2 Small savoy cabbage, finely shredded
150 Ml double cream
Tip the potatoes into a large saucepan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced.
Meanwhile, heat quarter of the butter in a pan, then fry the bacon and half the cabbage for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and peel while still hot.
Mash the potato until smooth, heat the cream with the remaining butter and, when almost boiling, beat into the potato.
Add the bacon and cabbage to the potato and mix.
Season, to taste and serve.
MY NOTES: If you can't find sliced back bacon, I'd suggest using middle rasher bacon, with the rinds and fat removed. The rest of Kevin Dundon's St Patrick's Day menu includes 'Smoked wild Irish salmon with chive pancake and 'Guiness & honey glazed pork loin'. I'll post the other two recipes soon. Both sound scrumptious, and also far too good to hold off making until March 2006. And I'm confident that local salmon will serve the recipe admirably! When in Rome -- When in Ireland -- When -- wherever -- .