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Keith Bradbury

Cheese - Colcannon


Its Irish name is Cál Ceannann, meaning “white-headed cabbage”, and it is a traditional dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage.

It is similar to the Irish dish Champ which is a dish of mashed potatoes, moistened with milk and butter and flavoured with chopped onions or scallions or even nettle tops (much underused veg!).

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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • finely sliced
  • 250g mashed potato (I used about 6 to 8 potatoes so play it by ear)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 30ml double cream
  • 250g Savoy cabbage blanched and sliced (or you can used greens or kale)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and ground black pepper


Level of difficulty Average
Cooking time 20mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.

Step 2

In a large bowl, mix together the mashed potato, butter, cream, blanched cabbage and mustard until well combined and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Step 3

Transfer the potato mixture to the frying pan with the onions in and press down to form a large potato ‘cake’. Fry for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown on one side.

Step 4

Turn over, using a plate if necessary to help you, and fry on the other side for a further 4-5 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown on both sides. (This last bit is tricky – in the end if it does break up, it will taste just as good even if it doesn’t look as pretty!)

Step 5

I also made a taleggio cheese sauce which really, really went well with the ham and colcannon.

Step 6

I just popped 450 ml of double cream and a clove of garlic into a small pan with a bay leaf.

Step 7

I brought it to a simmer then added a 100gm slice of taleggio and let it melt. A stunning sauce to go with a stunning and simple potato dish!

Step 8

Up the Irish!

It is a very hearty and warming dish and you can twiddle with it to your hearts content – but this is a version I particularly like.

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