Classy Colcannon

colcannon_zoomThis is surely peasant food, but it’s a dish that I just adore, and surely don’t make it often enough.

There is just enough of a twist on the classic dish to liven it up and make it an excellent choice not only for that St. Patrick’s Day meal, but for many others.

Think, grilled sausage for starters. I think it also goes well with a pork roast.

It takes little more time than making regular old mashed potatoes so do surprise your family from time to time with this delightful Irish dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 – 6 slices of bacon, thick cut.
  • 4-6 red potatoes, peeled or not as you prefer
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, sliced in nice shreds
  • 1 /2 of a medium onion, also sliced thinly
  • salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 c cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Chunk up the bacon and fry until crisp. Drain and set aside.
  2. Chunk up the potatoes and boil in salted water until just done, drain.
  3. Slice the cabbage into shreds and place in a steamer pan, steaming until done but still having a bite
  4. Saute the onion in some butter, for 15-20 minutes or so, just until starting to caramelize. Set aside.
  5. Add butter and cream to the hot potatoes and mash.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Fold in the cabbage and the onions until mixed.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the bacon.

Serves: 6-8

NOTES: Beware, you family may demand you make this on a regular basis. It’s really that good. Kale can also be added for an extra punch of flavor. I’d say about 2 c loosely packed should do it. Swiss Chard would also be an option.

Corned Beef Bonanza

cornedbeefOh corned beef. What a wonderful meat it is. So great for sandwiches and so perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

There are, as you can imagine, a zillion recipes out there for how to make it, and so many insist that they are authentic (Irish recipes that is), and so many are really awful, leaving you with some shoe leather or watery tasteless stuff.

This is, I thought, a bit unusual, but it worked wonderfully. Easy and carefree (so you can devote your time to some fun things like soda bread and colcannon) and deliciously tender and juicy.

In a word–or words–we loved it. And the left overs were put to good use–(stay tuned for a great casserole recipe)

So next year come St. Paddy’s Day, do buy a big old corned beef and give it a go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 good-sized brisket with its spice packet
  • 1   12 oz bottle of a good lager beer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 c peppercorns
  • half a bulb of garlic (cloves peeled and separated)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a slow cooker (crock pot).
  2. Add enough water to cover the meat.
  3. Start on high, and once boiling, reduce to medium or low.
  4. Cook for 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove and let sit for ten minutes or so to let it firm up.
  6. Slice or shred as you desire.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can if you wish, place the cooked beef in a pan, place a glaze over it and put in a hot oven for a few minutes. Some like a mustard glaze on their corned beef. As I said, the leftovers make some fun casseroles and I’ll post that recipe in a couple of weeks. Also of course, there are the ever-great corned beef sandwiches!