Carb Diva's Colcannon, or Irish Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potato is the Gentile’s chicken soup. It’s nature’s tranquilizer. I take it instead of valium

— Andrew Payne
Cast your vote for Colcannon

I really like mashed potatoes. Actually, I LOVE mashed potatoes. And a few nights ago my husband was watching a travel show on Ireland; they featured a local cook preparing Colcannon and it looked.....amazingl! (I'll explain in a minute what colcannon is). Anyhow, husband turned to me and said "That looks really good. Could you make that for us?"

How could I possibly say "no"? Thanks to paternal grandma I'm one-quarter Irish. And potatoes are a daily dietary requirement, aren't they?

Now, for an explanation of Colcannon--simply put, it's buttery mashed potatoes swirled with green cooked cabbage and (occasionally) bits of pork in the form of Canadian bacon or ham.

Now, colcannon isn't exactly "health food". Potatoes and cabbage, on their own or together are certainly health-conscious additions to ones diet. But the smoked pork and AMPLE nobs of butter applied to the final product quickly reduce this recipe from a thoughtful dietary choice to a planned act of temporary insanity.

Call me crazy--I love Colcannon:

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 5 hours 15 min
  • Ready in: 5 hours 45 min
  • Yields: 4-6 servings


  • 2 pounds smoked pork neck bones
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 head cabbage or 1 bunch kale (stems and ribs removed)
  • 4 or 5 (depending on size) Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
smoked pork neck bones
smoked pork neck bones | Source
  1. Place pork neck bones in crock pot (slow cooker). Cover with water and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender (3-4 hours on high). Remove meat from cooker and set aside to cool. Reserve water in crock pot.
  2. Chop cabbage into small (1 inch) dice and add to water in crock pot. Cover and cook on low one hour. Drain cabbage and set aside.
  3. When cool enough to handle, remove all bones and fat from cooked pork. Set aside.
  4. Place potatoes in steamer basket in large saucepan with lid. Cover and steam over low heat until potatoes are done--a sharp knife should easily slide into the potato. When potatoes are cool enough to handle remove skins; place peeled potatoes in large bowl. Mash until no lumps remain; add 1/4 cup butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until all butter is incorporated. Heat milk in microwave; add to potatoes and continue to whip until potatoes are creamy.
  5. Using a large spoon stir cooked cabbage and cooked pork into mashed potatoes. Divide mixture among 4 serving bowls. Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the middle of each serving. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in each well.
  6. Luxuriate!

And What About Corned Beef and Cabbage?

Two days ago I was at my local grocery store, and bought a head of cabbage, specifically in preparation for making this dish. The clerk at the checkout line asked if I was making corned beef and cabbage. (Almost everyone who meets me assumes {correctly} that I'm part Irish. If the reddish-blonde hair and green eyes were not enough of a hint, the leprechaun stature is usually a dead giveaway.) I laughed and tried to explain the corned beef and cabbage is an American dish. Any true Irishman, seeing such a large hunk of meat on his table, would have thought that he had died and gone to Heaven.

© 2013 Linda Lum

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Comments 2 comments

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Carb Diva 11 months ago from Washington State, USA Author

The crockpot is already busy was work in the CarbDiva house. Looking forward to dinner tonight (and no, there will be no green beer. That's also a {gross} American thing).

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 11 months ago from Home Sweet Home

very good hub, irish mashed potato is different from the normal one

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