Lauren Groveman a recipe for delicious living

Colcannon

(March 27, 2008)
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Thea asked Lauren:

Dear Lauren,

Hello, I used to make colcannon with cooked corned beef and the family loved it. It has been years and I forgot how to make it. This question comes to you from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a garden writer with a paper called Westlife. Thank you very much, Thea.

Lauren says...

Colcannon is a dish that combines mashed potatoes with cooked cabbage and leftover cooked corned beef (or a seared and cubed ham steak or diced, crisp slab bacon or cooked sausage, or just with lots of vegetables). I usually use leftover cooked Brown Sugar Glazed Corned Beef and make it extra delicious by adding lots of sautéed scallions and chives. Also, instead of serving the mixture straight away, once assembled, I like to pile it all into a baking dish, smooth and butter the top and stick it in a hot oven until the top is golden and crisp and the interior is utterly creamy and piping hot. Here's a yummy recipe for Colcannon to use and enjoy. Please let me know how you like it!

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Colcannon

Yield: serves 6

Sometimes called "bubble and squeak," this hearty concoction, made with cooked cabbage, potatoes and chopped cooked meat, provides a great way to use leftover corned beef! You can also use cubed, seared ham steak or diced, crisp slab bacon or crumbled and well-browned cooked sausage. Laced with lots of delicious sautéed scallions and baked until golden on top and hot and creamy within, this old-time dish puts a whole new "main-dish" spin on mashed potatoes! Serve either as a hearty side or main dish.

    Special Equipment:
  • 8-quart pot for boiling potatoes
  • 3½ quart, oven-to-table baking dish
    Ingredients:
  • Boiling water, as needed
  • Kosher or sea salt, as needed
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, tough outer leaves removed and the head cut into wedges, core removed and the cabbage sliced very thin
  • 1 stick butter, plus more as needed for brushing the baking dish and dotting the top
  • 3½ pounds new potatoes, peeled (if peeled in advance of cooking, keep potatoes submerged in ice water)
  • 1½ cups minced scallions (remove the roots and chop all the white and 1 ½ inches of the tender green)
  • 1¼ cups hot milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound cooked meat (either chopped corned beef, seared and cubed ham steak, diced and crisped slab bacon or sweet sausage removed from its casings and well-browned in a little olive oil)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh chives (if unavailable, use an equal amount of the tender part of the darker green scallion stalks), or use chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley

    1) To cook the cabbage: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a good dose of salt. Add the shredded cabbage to the pot and bring the water back up to a boil, covered. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the cabbage briskly until it's very tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted utensil, remove the cooked cabbage from the pot, keeping the water at a simmer. Chop the cabbage and set it aside for now.

    2) To prepare the baking dish and get ready to bake: Brush the interior of a 3 1/2-quart baking dish with melted butter and set aside. If planning to bake right after assembling the dish, preheat the oven to 375° F.

    3) To cook the potatoes: Bring the water back up to a rapid boil and add the peeled potatoes. Cover the pot and cook the potatoes, over high heat, until they're very tender, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on their size.

    4) To cook the scallions: While the potatoes cook, melt 1 stick of butter in a 12-inch skillet, over medium heat. When the butter is hot and bubbling, stir in the scallions and cook them over medium heat until they're softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped cabbage and cooked meat. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

    5) To assemble the dish: Drain the potatoes, reserving some of the cooking water. Mash the potatoes with the hot milk and sour cream and if needed, add enough of the cooking water to create a very creamy consistency, without leaving it soupy. Using a sturdy rubber spatula, fold in the cabbage-meat mixture, along with the chives. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, if needed (mixture should taste well seasoned) and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top and either dot the top liberally or brush the top with melted butter and season the top with salt and pepper.

    6) To bake: Bake the dish, covered, in the preheated 375° F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 to 30 minutes, or until the top is crisp and golden brown and the interior is piping hot. Serve now.

    Time Management Tips:


    • Lauren LogoThe dish can be fully assembled two days ahead and, once cool, covered and refrigerated. Bring close to room temperature before baking or adjust (lengthen) the covered baking time accordingly.



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    Lauren Groveman recipes have been featured in many national magazines and local newspapers. Her books "The I love to Cook Book: Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking for Family and Friends" and "Lauren Groveman's Kitchen, Nurturing Food for Family and Friends" are available through Amazon.com.

    For in depth information on Lauren Groveman as a writer, teacher, TV & radio host, as well as her recipes and cooking tips visit her website at www.laurengroveman.com

    Lauren is a Larchmont resident. She is happily married and blessed with three wonderful children.