Saturday, March 17, 2012


It's a rare rainy day in Hollywood this morning. The weather is conspiring to make a very authentic-feeling St. Patrick's Day. What better excuse to cook up some comfort food, Irish-style?

Colcannon is about as comforting as food gets. It's got the salty goodness of bacon, hearty starchy potatoes, and you can never go wrong with lots of butter. The cabbage (or kale, such as the case may be) and green onions add sweetness to counter the bacon and a textural counterpoint to the mashies. It's simple, easy, and delicious Irish fare. This is the perfect dish to prepare your tummy for all the beer you're going to pour into it tonight!

(My recipe, based on seeing a few St. Patrick's Day cooking shows a year or two ago. Is it the most authentic recipe? I don't honestly know. But it's easy and incredibly delicious, and I like to think any proper Irishman or -woman would welcome a bowl of this and commend me for the effort.)

  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 3 large or 4 smallish potatoes, scrubbed, peeled if you wish, and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced very thin
  • 1/3 stick of butter, about 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup whole milk
  1. Put bacon in a large pot over high heat. Cook until crisp, then remove from heat, but do not drain.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, simmer the potatoes in a little water and cover with a lid. When you can break the chunks of potato with a fork, add the cabbage and simmer until the potatoes are done, about 3 minutes more. You want the potatoes to be cooked through but not mushy.
  3. Lift the potatoes and cabbage from the water and add to the pot with the bacon in it. (Yes, leave the bacon grease in the pot!) Over medium-low heat, fold in the butter and milk, stirring to combine and break up the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the green onions. In about 5 minutes you will have a creamy, comforting bowl of Irish love!