Colcannon Potatoes

Another supremely good version of mashed potato, this is based on the Irish recipe for Colcannon potatoes, which was originally served in a fluffy pile with a sort of well in the centre that was filled with melted butter. The idea was to dip each forkful into the melted butter before eating it! Perhaps our health consciousness and waist-watching would prohibit this today, but even without the melted butter it's extremely good.


Serves 4

This recipe is from Delia Smith's Winter Collection

Colcannon Potatoes
 1½ lb (700 g) Desirée or King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
 8 oz (225 g) firm green cabbage, very finely sliced or shredded
 12 spring onions, trimmed and very finely sliced including the green parts
 3 fl oz (75 ml) single cream or 5 tablespoons top of the milk
 3 oz (75 g) butter
 a little nutmeg
 salt and freshly milled black pepper


Use a potato peeler to pare off the skins as thinly as possible and then cut the potatoes into even-sized chunks, not too small. If they are large, quarter them and if they are small, halve them.

Put the potato chunks in a large saucepan then pour boiling water over them, add 1 dessertspoon of salt, put on a lid and simmer gently until they are absolutely tender – they should take approximately 25 minutes.

The way to tell whether they are ready is to pierce them with a skewer in the thickest part; the potato should not be hard in the centre. And you need to be careful here, because if they are slightly underdone you do get lumps!

Meanwhile melt 1 oz (25 g) butter in a large frying pan and saute the cabbage for about 3 minutes, keeping it on the move until it's tender and slightly golden at the edges.

Then add the chopped spring onions and continue to cook for another minute.

Next drain the potatoes, return them to the pan, cover with a clean tea-cloth and leave them aside for 2 minutes to allow the cloth to absorb the excess steam.

Now, using an electric hand whisk, add the nutmeg, cream and remaining butter.

Whisk the potatoes to a light fluffy mass before tasting and seasoning.

Then finally stir in the contents of the frying pan and serve with or without extra melted butter.

Print Page