Maggie Cooper's colcannon recipe.
Maggie Cooper's colcannon recipe.

Get this versatile and easy Irish dish down pat

I was raised in a home with Irish roots and I still have a fondness for the cuisine of the Emerald Isle, despite embracing rather more exotic foods with great enthusiasm as I grew up.

So I don't really need St Patrick's Day for an excuse to trot out some traditional fare.

One favourite is colcannon, a simple upgrade of mashed potatoes. It's made more interesting by the addition of kale or cabbage; I'm not a fan of the former, so I prefer to finely shred white cabbage, like savoy, and sweat that in a little olive oil before tossing through the spuds.

Serve with corned beef and you'll have a memorable meal.

Leftover colcannon is also the basis for a fabulous bubble and squeak; I'm always puzzled by the sight of bags of this treat in supermarket freezers. Buying something made from leftovers rather defeats the purpose. Just add whatever cooked vegetables you have in the fridge from the night before to the colcannon and cook in a little butter or oil until heated through for a terrific brunch dish.


Serves 4


800g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 cup milk

60g salted butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups finely shredded kale or cabbage

4 green onions, finely sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste


Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return the pan to the stove and turn off heat. Add milk and butter and cover.

Heat oil in a small frying pan and sweat the kale or cabbage until wilted.

Mash potatoes (there should still be solid pieces) and add kale or cabbage; mix through until combined.

Sprinkle with green onion and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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