Colcannon

 


(with contributions from Laurel Parry of Whitehorse)
There are lots of ways to make Colcannon, a traditional Scottish and Irish dish based on potatoes and cabbage, those faithful standbys with a long shelf life. The traditional version is always a treat, but so the versions with substitutions (and additions) like broccoli, leeks, spinach, dill, and in this recipe, chard. As my friend (and fellow Colcannon fan) Laurel Parry says, as long as you have potatoes, butter, an onion and cheese, you can make this dish with whatever else is in the fridge. Even lettuce.

Note: The amounts below make a ton of Colcannon; if you want less, cut the recipe in half.

Ingredients

8 large baking potatoes
1 large sweet onion
2 cups (475 mL) chopped rainbow or other chard
A generous handful of dill
½ cup (4 oz) butter, divided
1 cup (250 mL) milk
½ cup (125 mL) 10% cream
1½ cups plus 3 Tbsp (375 mL plus 45 mL) grated old cheddar
1½ cups plus 3 Tbsp (375 mL plus 45 mL) grated Parmesan
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Peel potatoes, wash, and cut into chunks.
  2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil, add potatoes, bring to the boil again, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, chop onion and sauté in half the butter in a frying pan over medium heat until onions are soft, about 7 minutes.
  4. Stir in chard and dill and cook for another 5 minutes, until chard stems are soft.
  5. Stir in milk and simmer for another 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Drain potatoes, return to the burner, set on low, and shake the pan to dry out the potatoes. Remove from heat and mash potatoes thoroughly (use a potato masher and then a fork) to get the lumps out.
  7. Stir in remaining butter, cream and both cheeses, reserving the extra tablespoons for the top, followed by the onion and chard mixture.
  8. Press mixture lightly into a 9 x 13 x 2½–inch (23 x 33 x 6-cm) baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and Parmesan over top.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated 375F (190C) oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown,and a knife blade inserted in the middle is hot to the touch.

Makes about 15 to 18 servings.