All Simple Vegetable Recipes

Traditional Irish Dish - Colcannon



Another traditional Irish dish, but this one is always eaten at Halloween when it forms part of the tradition of fortune telling. A button, silver coin, ring, thimble and horseshoe are dropped into the mixture. Whoever is served the ring will marry within the year, the coin indicates wealth to come and horseshoe good fortune, the button a bachelor and the thimble an old maid. Cooked without the onion, this dish is called Kailkenny in Scotland and Rumbledethumps on the Border.


Serves 4-6

  • 11/2 lb (700 g) hot mashed potatoes

  • 1 lb (450 g) green cabbage or kale, finely shredded

  • 2 tbs grated onion or 3 spring onions, finely chopped

  • 2 fl oz (50 ml) cream or milk

  • 2 oz (50 g) butter

  • Pinch of salt, pepper

  1. Cook the cabbage until tender but still crisp either by steaming or in a little water in a covered pan.

  2. Cook the onions in the cream or milk until soft and mix in with the mashed potatoes.

  3. Fold in the cabbage and turn into a serving dish or individual bowls.

  4. Make several holes and fill with butter.

  5. Colcannon is also very delicious when fried in butter and finished under the grill.

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