The traditional recipe called for an alarming amount of butter, and as most of us no longer live in sod huts, and with our modern central heating, we really don't need to pile on an excess layer of fat to see us through the colder months till spring. As such, I've reduced the fat content substantially and by browning the onions in a healthy oil (rather than adding them raw as in the original recipe), have maintained a nice hearty flavor in this dish without using multiple cups of butter. Feel free to add to it whatever your hungry heart desires!
Colcannon serves approximately 10 as a generous side dish
six or seven good-sized potatoes (approximately 4 1/2 - 5 pounds), peeled and coarsely chopped
one medium head of green cabbage, chopped or shredded (not too finely)
one medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup milk (approximate)
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
one pound bacon cooked and cooled or ham cooked the previous day and chopped into small pieces (optional)
Peel the potatoes, coarsely chop them and put them in a medium pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil, cooking until just tender, but not mushy. Drain and mash. Add butter and milk to potatoes and mash until well blended. Adjust the milk so potatoes are neither too wet nor too dry. In a small skillet, place chopped onion in olive oil and saute over low flame until lightly golden in color, adding a bit more olive oil if necessary to keep from sticking. Add to mashed potatoes and pepper to taste. Steam the chopped cabbage just until color darkens slightly. Cabbage should be cooked, but not be mushy. Drain and add to potatoes, mixing thoroughly. An additional pat of butter can be added to each serving in an indentation made on the top of each.
And if you've added any prizes, please eat with care so as not to break any teeth! Enjoy!
Samhain "prize lore" information came in part from The Pagan Book of Halloween by Gerina Dunwich.
Additional information courtesy of Wikipedia.
Photo courtesy of teenytinyturkey on flickr.