Colcannon and Champ: Sounds like the name of a rock band or a law firm? Think again!
Colcannon is a rustic country dish of potatoes, cabbage (or kale), green onions and sometimes leeks. If you make the same mash using only potatoes and green onions then you have champ. In many Irish recipes white cabbage is always used, but we’ve substituted the white cabbage with Savoy cabbage because it is our favorite (And when you cook at your house you get choose your favorites too!). The two things you cannot substitute are the butter and cream. Of course, you can vary the amounts to make the dish lighter to your preferred tastes, but please: always use the highest quality unsalted butter you can find… and the best cream available.
We were inspired to post this video and recipe after reading our dear friend Michael’s blog on colcannon. We hope our version meets his standards!
As always, we bring these recipes to our blog with bite-sized technique videos you can find on our YouTube channel. Please click the ingredients in blue to see the videos!
Colcannon – Irish Mashed Potatoes and Cabbage
Serves 4 to 6
4 to 5 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage (about 1/2 a head), white cabbage or kale
1 medium leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced
3 green onions, minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put potatoes in a pot large enough to hold them no more than 2 potatoes deep. Cover the potatoes with at least an inch of cold water. Add the salt, and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
In a separate pan over medium-high heat melt 3 tablespoons butter and add the leeks. Sauté leeks until they are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the green onions and sauté 1 minute more. Stir in the heavy cream and remove pan from the heat. Set aside.
Drain potatoes in a colander. Shake the colander to make sure the water has completely drained out. Return the potatoes to the hot pot and allow them to completely dry. Potatoes will look crumbly and white around the edges.
Add the cream and cabbage mixture to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until thick and creamy. Season colcannon with salt and pepper. Serve with a knob of butter melted in the center of your piping hot potatoes.