There’s Something About Having Irish Ancestors

Some of my great- and great-great ancestors were Irish on my mother’s side.  A bit of red or rich auburn hair pops up from the gene pool now and then. And I believe it is the Irish in me which is responsible for my fondness of a good stout and the occasional Black and Tan at a cozy pub and perhaps a sip of Jameson’s now and again.

My sister used to amuse us with a couple of drops of green food coloring in beer when she made a St. Patty’s Day dinner for the family.

This year, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day wit a traditional corned beef and something newly discovered – colcannon.

Colcannon – potatoes, cabbage, leeks, garlic butter and cream; what’s not to love about that?

Colcannon is a very rich and savory side dish that was a perfect complement to my boiled corned beef.  It is a potato, cabbage and leek based mash with butter cream, garlic and a garnish of scallions. Super comfort food on the plate that will be made again long before St. Patty’s Day next year.

Corned beef, colcannon and a bit o’ Harps lager in homage to St. Patty and the Irish in me.


  • 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¾ pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (packed) shredded savoy cabbage (from about ¼ large head), divided (regular green cabbage works as well.)
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  • Cover potatoes with water in a small pot; season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until a paring knife slides easily through the flesh, 30–40 minutes. Drain, let cool slightly, and peel.
  • Meanwhile, melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and leeks are just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes longer. Add 1 cup cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Add milk and cream and bring to a simmer.
  • Add potatoes and remaining 1 cup cabbage, then coarsely mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer colcannon to a large serving bowl. Top with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and sprinkle with scallion.


One thought on “There’s Something About Having Irish Ancestors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *