Irish Colcannon!


 Colcannon! It is a traditional Irish food that was usually eaten on Halloween, but usually appears in my home around St. Patrick's Day - or any day I am craving some warm potato-y comfort food. 
**Not all Colcannon recipes I've seen call for any meat to be added.**

~Ingredients~
1 pound potatoes, scrubbed and cubed **I leave skins on**
6 TB butter 
1 cup hot milk 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded 
1/4 pound, ham or bacon, cooked  **I use about 5 pieces of bacon crumbled**
2 scallions, finely chopped [ or 2 leeks, both the white and green parts— leeks have a more mild taste than scallions]
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish 

~Directions~
** I’m going to tell you right now, if you are familiar with my recipes and cooking style at all this won’t come as any surprise— I cooked everything in ONE pot at ONE time. I added about 1 - 1 1/2 cups water to everything, salted lightly. Covered and simmered together for about 30 minutes until everything was tender. Pour out any extra water, add milk and butter and mash.
                                                                     ****
But the “official” directions are:
  1. Steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes. Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop with a knife before mashing.  Add 6 TB of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan. Chop into small pieces.
  3. Put the ham in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and chop into small pieces. 
  4. Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.
  5. Serve in individual soup plates. Make an indentation on the top by swirling a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley.

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