St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and we’ve lined up a few recipes for this week to help share in the celebration.

A dab of butter on top of Irish Colcannon

This is certainly one of Sean’s favourite days of the year. Every year his family gathers together to celebrate their Irish background complete with green hats, shamrock vests that light up and “kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirts.

The highlight of the celebration for me is, of course, the meal. Sean’s dad serves up corned beef that’s been simmering in the slow cooker all day with a side of potatoes, carrots and cabbage that are simply boiled and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and topped with a dab of butter. It’s rustic, traditional, and delicious.

My contribution this year is Irish Colcannon: creamy mashed potatoes with kale, green onions and a healthy dose of butter.

Traditionally kale or cabbage is used.

Normally served around the Halloween season, this potato side is too good to have just once a year.

While this recipe uses kale, there are lots of variations of colcannon all depending on which part of the Emerald Isle you’re from. Try it with cabbage, spinach, leeks, wild garlic, ramps or any of your favourite flavourful leafy greens.

Irish Colcannon

  • 5 large Russet potatoes
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 pats of butter

Cut the potatoes into small chunks. Rinse them a couple times to get rid of some of the surface starch. This is a trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen. It helps to intensify the creamy texture of the potatoes without making them gluey.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender.

While the potatoes are boiling, melt a pat of butter in a skillet. Add the kale and green onions and sauté until the kale and green onions have cooked.

In a small pot, heat the milk.

Once the potatoes have cooked, drain them and place them back into the pot. Add 2-3 pats of butter and the heated milk. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes, butter and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the kale and green onions and incorporate into the potatoes. Transfer into a serving dish. Make a well in the middle of the potatoes and add a pat of butter.

Serve Irish Colcannon as a side dish…or just eat the entire bowl yourself.