Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Belated St. Patrick's Day

As usual, because of Thatmom's birthday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day a day late.  I was a busy girl on Sunday cooking and baking.  The plan was to our traditional corned beef and cabbage.  As we headed to the store on Sunday morning, I asked Thatboy what else he wanted with his corned beef and cabbage and he felt that maybe boiled red potatoes would be a nice addition.

We talked about the fact that this is Thatbaby's first St. Patrick's Day, but next year he'd really be joining in on our feast.  Thatboy posited that Thatbaby would probably like corned beef, but not cabbage, since no one likes cabbage.  I never really thought about it since Thatboy has always requested corned beef and cabbage, but it turns out he's not the biggest fan of the cabbage part.  "We don't have to have cabbage" I told him.  I suggested maybe making colcannon.  He'd never heard of it.  To be fair, I didn't have a firm grasp of what it was other than that it encompassed potatoes and cabbage.  I quickly googled and found a recipe - "It's potatoes, cabbage, and bacon."  Bacon was the magic word.  Thatboy was in.

I made my standby Corned Beef recipe under the "if it ain't broke" philosophy. Besides I was messing around enough with this colcannon stuff.  Using the basic idea of potatoes, cabbage, and bacon I decided to wing it.  I've made enough braised cabbage with bacon to realize that's the way to go.  Because bacon makes cabbage better.  And cabbage cooked in bacon fat is far more flavorful than boring boiled cabbage.  It was a hit, and will definitely become a constant part of our St. Patrick's day menu. 

We rounded out the meal with Pioneer Woman's Pear Crisp which was ridiculously sweet.  A nice change from the salty St. Patrick's Day feast.

2 slices of bacon
1 small head of cabbage, cored and finely chopped
3 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper

  1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon slices.  Remove bacon from pan, but leave drippings.
  2. Cook the cabbage in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove cabbage from pan.
  3.  Place potatoes in the pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and boil potatoes for 20 minutes.
  4. Drain potatoes and return them to the pan.  Roughly mash with a fork.
  5. Chop bacon and add to the potatoes with the cabbage, butter, and milk. 
  6. Mash the potatoes until the desired consistency is reached.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  1. So, what you are saying is colcannon is bacon mashed potatoes with some cabbage to make us feel a wee bit healthier. I'm down with that!

  2. Thanks for tuning me into what colcannon is! Next year I'll have to try it to see if it goes over better with our crowd than boiled cabbage.

  3. Ditto Auds. I think I could choke down some cabbage if it's inside bacon mashed potatoes!

  4. I've come around to cabbage but seriously...adding potatoes and bacon would make it MUCH more appealing to anyone!

  5. I have made colcannon and we like it a lot. That is a great way to incorporate the cabbage into delicious potatoes. Good thinking.