Very traditionally Irish, colcannon is a mashed-pototo dish, flavored with kale or cabbage. Its origin may lie in the need to use up the last leafy vegetables left in the fall garden. In rural Ireland, it's served as a main dish on All Hallows' Eve. In keeping with tradition, a carefully wrapped gold ring is placed in a bowl of colcannon, and the diner that finds it is thought likely to marry within the coming year.
My family loves this recipe. The cooked cabbage gives the potatoes a subtly sweet flavor.
1 pound cabbage, cored, quartered, and shredded
2 pound boiling potatoes, peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 small leeks (white and pale green parts only), washed and sliced
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
8 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons butter
In separate pots, cook the cabbage and potatoes in boiling salted water, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes (or, chop the cored the cabbage, then lightly saute it in a skillet with a tablespoon of butter until tender, instead of boiling). Drain the cabbage (if boiled) and chop. Drain the potatoes and mash.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the leeks and milk, and cook over medium heat until the leeks are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, and mace to the leeks and milk, and stir over low heat until well blended. Add the cabbage and 8 tablespoons butter (one stick). Stir again to the consistency of mashed potatoes. Turn into a serving dish, and dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Serve piping hot!