Buttery and warm mashed potatoes with hickory smoked bacon, caramelized onions and tender cabbage is one of our new family favorites.Make this. Like, right now. You don’t have to be Irish, and it doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day. Our take on the classic Irish Colcannon recipe is so good you’ll wonder why you haven’t been eating it your whole life.
Wait, what? You have been eating colcannon all your life? Then I’m totally mad because you didn’t tell ME about it. Amazing recipe. So simple but so satisfying.
A Recipe to Remember – Irish Colcannon with Bacon
Just when I thought I had eaten every version of potatoes + cabbage + bacon. Then this.
Talk about such a wonderful, homestyle recipe that your family will love. Filling and comforting…buttery and savory. All of the great things about simple country cooking combined into one fantastic recipe.
To make our version of a traditional Irish Colcannon recipe, you start with affordable ingredients. Russet potatoes, green cabbabge, and onions. These household staples are at the heart of many of our recipes, including this colcannon recipe.
First things first, make your favorite mashed potatoes. Get our recipe at the end of this post, or use your own. A classic buttery mashed potato base is the main part of colcannon. After all, it is an Irish recipe.
Leave it to me to turn an Irish recipe into something decidedly Southern by adding hickory smoked bacon. I mean, adding bacon to a potato recipe is a no-brainer in my book. The instant addition of savory-smoky flavor to this colcannon recipe is perfection.
Be sure to save all of those bacon drippings. We are going to infuse all of that piggy bacon flavor into our fresh onions and cabbage.
Speaking of the onions, let’s caramelize them first. Sure, you can cook them all at once with the cabbage if you want…but all you are going to get is cooked bland onions. Let the onions simmer and caramelize in the bacon fat until golden for another layer of flavor that will set your recipe apart from anyone else’s.
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When the onions have reached that perfect state of perfection (trust me, you’ll know when it happens…the aroma is amazing), stir in half a head of chopped, fresh green cabbage. You know the one, the cheap cabbage. (I told you this was an affordable recipe.)
Cook and stir until the cabbage is tender and still firm. Do not add any liquid. You want the cabbage to “wilt”, not to turn to mush. This way every bite of Irish Colcannon has that lovely flavor and bite to it.
To finish the recipe, fold everything together. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your personal taste. Remember, the bacon adds a layer of saltiness, so don’t get carried away.
The buttery mashed potatoes, salty bacon, cooked cabbage and onions…mix them all together and top with extra butter. Serve hot with your favorite main course for an unforgettable side dish.
Your family will beg you to make Irish Colcannon with Bacon again (and again).
Irish Colcannon with Bacon
This is our take on a traditional Irish Colcannon recipe. Buttery mashed potatoes with hickory smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and tender cooked cabbage. So. Simply. Good.
- 5 large russet potatoes washed, peeled, cut into large chunks
- 8 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup bacon drippings
- 1 onion peeled and sliced
- 1/2 head cabbage rough chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup milk more as needed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper more to taste
Place the potato chunks in a large pot and cover over 1 inch with cold water. Heat to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes, and return to the cooking pot.
Set the pot of potatoes on the stove eye (that has been turned off) for a minute or two to dry the potatoes. Remove from the eye and add the butter, milk, salt and pepper. With a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes until lumpy. Set aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon pieces in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the mashed potatoes. Reserve the bacon drippings.
In the same skillet, cook the sliced onions in the bacon drippings until golden and caramelized. Stir frequently and reduce the heat as needed to prevent burning. This will take about 5 - 7 minutes.
Add the chopped cabbage to the skillet with a pinch of salt and pepper if desired. Stir the cabbage and onions together, and cook and stir until the cabbage is tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.
Fold the cabbabe and onion mixture into the mashed potatoes and bacon. Stir to combine well.
Serve hot with additional butter if desired.