Colcannon is a classic Irish side dish of creamy mashed potatoes mixed with leafy greens. Every Irish family has its own version, and ours transforms the velvety blend into something completely different. For an impromptu and simple Saint Patrick’s Day appetizer, we fry colcannon into little cakes and top them with a dollop of tangy sour cream and salty, crispy bacon. Coincidentally, the trio of ingredients happens to reflect the colors of the Irish flag too!
2 1/2 lbs (about 4) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
5 T unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 leek, rinsed and thinly chopped
3 c kale, shredded
1 c whole milk
salt and pepper throughout
4 T unsalted butter
1 c flour
Sour cream for serving
4 slices Irish bacon, fried until crispy and cut into bite-size pieces, for serving
In a pot, boil the cut potatoes in heavily salted water until fork tender, about 15 minutes. While the potatoes boil, in a large skillet add 1 T butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and leeks and sautee until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook for 2 more minutes until slightly wilted.
Drain the cooked potatoes and return them to the pot. Add 4 T butter and milk and combine with a potato masher (feel free to add more, depending on your taste). Add the greens and mix until incorporated. Season heavily with salt and pepper and let the mixture cool slighlty, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the egg and flour into the colcannon. Form the mixture into little cake-like patties. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour until the mixture is easy to shape.
Heat 2 T butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the cakes in the pan and cook until golden, 3-4 minutes on each side. Flip and cook the other side. Place the fried cakes on a paper towel and cook the rest, adding more butter as you go. On a platter, serve the colcannon cakes with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped bacon. Makes 22-24 cakes, depending on each one's size.
These are great spectator samples while taking in the St. Patty’s Day Parade!