St. Patrick’s Day Dinner ~ Colcannon

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 Welcome to the 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl

hosted by Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen

No matter what our heritage most of us feel a wee bit Irish on St. Paddy’s Day.  Kathleen throws a great party and I encourage you to visit her for Irish music, food, recipes and her beautiful tablescapes.   She has even written a poem for us and is having a giveaway that I know everyone will want to enter.  Join the party to celebrate the feast day of our beloved St. Patrick, discover wonderful Irish recipes and make some new friends.

Both my great-great-grandfather, William Ross Wallace, and my great-great-grandmother, Catherine Irwin, were born in Belfast, Ireland in 1834.  Their families were potato famine refugees who emigrated to the United States in the 1850′s.  My great grandmother, Catherine Wallace, was born here in Portland, Oregon, in 1869, and the Willamette Valley has been our family home ever since.  I have always identified more with my German heritage than Irish, but on St. Patrick’s Day I enjoy wonderful memories of my great grandmother’s corn beef and cabbage and colcannon.  I can hear her signing “Wearin’ of the Green” as she puttered in the kitchen and even now, after so many years, I could sing the lyrics right along with her.

Colcannon served with Smoked Pork Chops
Colcannon is the most simple of Irish dishes and most recipes add only green onions and cabbage to mashed potatoes, but I love the addition of smokey, thick sliced, crisp bacon.  It adds so much flavor to the dish and for me has wonderful memories attached to it.
5.0 from 4 reviews
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 4 ounces sliced bacon, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ to 1 cup milk, scalded
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook potatoes in a pot of salted water until fork tender. Drain well.
  2. Saute bacon until almost crisp. Add green onions and saute another minute. Add cabbage and cook until barely tender.
  3. Put drained hot potatoes through a ricer or mash with potato masher. Slowly stir in hot milk until potatoes reach the desired consistency. Add butter and cabbage mixture.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cabbage and Bacon for Colcannon

Add shredded cabbage to the onion, bacon mixture and saute until the cabbage is cooked but still crisp.   I prefer colcannon that is mostly cabbage and add only enough riced potatoes to hold the mixture together.

Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day

I served colcannon this week with smoked pork chops from the local German deli.   I always make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s day itself  and enjoy other Irish recipes on the days leading up the 1 7th.   Leftover colcannon makes delicious potato pancakes.

My Mom’s Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Corned beef and cabbage is one of my favorite meals of the year and I always serve it

with horseradish cream sauce  recipe that I found at How To Cook A Wolf.

Ina’s Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread  spread with a little butter and jam is delicious with a mid-afternoon cup of tea.  I love this recipe by Ina Garten that can be found on the Food Channel. 


Here is a little Irish trivia for you if you happen to be on Jeopardy on St. Patrick’s Day or if you get into a trivia contest with friends you will be prepared to impress.

St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD. It is also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland, and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day during the 19th century. Green, in Irish legends, was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow.

St. Patrick did not actually drive snakes out of Ireland; the snakes represent the pagans that he converted to Christianity.

The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737.

In Chicago, on St. Patrick’s Day, the rivers are dyed green. Mayor Daley is also of Irish descent.

In Seattle, there is a ceremony where a green stripe is painted down the roads.

Most Catholics attend mass in the morning and then attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Shamrocks are worn on the lapel on this day.

In Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps. Children wear orange, white and green badges, and women and girls wear green ribbons in their hair

Many young people dye their hair green for the special day.

Many people wear green on this holiday to avoid being pinched.

                                                                                                                         from St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts


  1. says

    How funny…I just went to my recipe files & printed off the ingredients to make your colcannon recipe from last year as well as Lori’s horseradish cream sauce & then I come here & you’re talking about them. Both are the best I have ever made!!!

    I’m going to do my corned beef in the crockpot per Sue (rue Moufftard ??). I made it that way last year & it was incredible flavorful. 1/2 C. H20 in the bottom of the slow cooker, rinsed meat added with fat cap to the top, sprinkle spices & a few chopped onions on top, cook for 8-10 hrs. It was awesome! no boiled flavor at all but very intense & delicious.

    I bet we’re related somehow from waaaay back in the old country, Cathy.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Early,
    Rettabug recently posted..♣ ♣ Top O’ The Mornin’ to You! ♣ ♣My Profile

    • says

      We’re on the same wave length today, Rett. I was planning to do a search for a recipe for crock pot corned beef and here you have given me one!!!! I can’t wait to try this method. Wouldn’t that be nice to find out that we are distant cousins? Why not, it’s possible.
      Cathy recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Dinner ~ ColcannonMy Profile

  2. says

    I have wanted to try a recipe for colcannon forever and I’m going to try yours with the bacon. It looks and sounds SO good. I love the history of St. Patricks Day too. Also I LOVE your white ‘pot’ for
    the flowers. Perfect for St. Patricks Day. I came over from Cuisine Kathleens Blog Crawl and am to glad I did. I love your blog. Can hardly wait to peruse your recipes. What a fabulous cook you must be. I’d follow you but can’t see where to do it.


    • says

      I hope you like this recipe, Nann. The bacon adds so much flavor to the dish. I use WordPress and Google Friend Connect is no longer is linked to it. If you would like to follow my blog (thank you so much) you can enter your email address in the subscription box in the sidebar up by my header or subscribe in the yellow box at the bottom of my posts. The little white vase is Irish belleek, an almost paper thin Irish porcelain. You can actually see light pass through it. Thank you so much for stopping by. It is a pleasure to meet you.
      Cathy recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Dinner ~ ColcannonMy Profile

  3. says

    How lovely to be able to hold onto your roots like this. I love hearing people talk about their family’s history, I really do. And Colcannon – it’s funny that so many cultures have a similar dish, isn’t it? At least my Jewish culture (minus the bacon) and my husband’s French culture.
    Jamie recently posted..TENDER COOKED BEEF AND CARROT CANNELLONIMy Profile

  4. says

    Cathy, your colcannon looks wonderful!! I love that you paired it with smoked pork chops…..mmmmmm!! Ina’s soda bread looks wonderful. I will have to give that a try. You always share the best recipes.

  5. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    All wonderful recipes Cathy and that may just be the prettiest soda bread I’ve ever seen-enjoy:@)

  6. says

    What a great read; I am not Irish but you make it sound like I would love to be. We are near a Pub called Irish Times; guess where we are going on the 17th.

  7. says

    I love the way you put together your Colcannon with the bacon. Yum, what a great addition. I make the horseradish sauce, too, with my corned beef. I just posted it earler today and i was saying that I wasn’t sure how traditional it is, but that is how we serve it. Now I see that it’s somewhat common!
    Becki’s Whole Life recently posted..Amaretto CakeMy Profile

  8. says

    I’ve seen Ina’s recipe and have wanted to make it for quite some time. It looks like it’s time to do that. The colcannon I’ve made has kale in it, but I like this version MUCH better. I’m so making it! BTW, I made your mom’s corned beef and cabbage, last year, and loved it! I’ve been to Ireland and kissed the Blarney stone (can’t you tell??) I don’t have any Irish blood, but I sure enjoyed the food there. Lots of salmon!
    Foodiewife recently posted..Quick and Easy Teriyaki SauceMy Profile

  9. says

    It all looks delicious,Cathy! Growing up we always had the boiled cabbage, which I wouldn’t touch. When I was in college my Polish friend taught me to fry the cabbage with bacon and onions, so I have been doing it that way ever since! I guess I should try it with the potatoes sometime. I want to try the crock pot corned beef, but not this week with company coming, i would be too nervous.

    I will go see if that horseradish sauce is different from the one I make.

    Thanks so much for all your support for my yearly blog crawl! I do appreciate it!
    Kathleen recently posted..It’s Time! The 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl Begins Now!My Profile

  10. says

    HI Cathy!
    Colcannon is still a very popular dish in Ireland, and we have it often when we visit.
    The addition of bacon definitely adds more flavor. ..your recipe looks so delicious. Your corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread have my mouth watering. I usually make the same every year but I’m in Colorado this week visiting for my youngest grandson’s first birthday, and his party will be held on St. Patrick’s Day! I liked reading the fun facts about St. Patrick –I never knew blue was the first color associated with him!
    Pat recently posted..Saint Patrick’s Grave in Downpatrick, Northern IrelandMy Profile

  11. Aimee says

    Cathy~from one part Irish woman to another, thank you for saving our St Patrick’s Day meal! I had very little sleep last night (watching my dad) and your suggestion for cooking the corned beef in a crock pot allowed me to both catch up on some sleep AND do some more Irish family history research today while our meat simmered happily :) Turned out awesome!
    We were concerned that the carrots would be too soft after cooking that long, but no–they were great as were the onions! One thing I still want to try–at least with my part of the corned beef–is your glaze (hubby prefers plain everything so I’ll leave his alone)…maybe next year? Also, I want to give your colcannon a go…
    I have mentioned your method on my blog along with a link to this post. Again–I am deeply grateful:)


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