Friday, 27 December 2013

Colcannon to the rescue!

I don't think I've ever managed to have an overdose of the Christmas foods. Especially ham. By Boxing day at latest my Dad had to bake a new ham as Someone had managed to devour the previous one. But in case you've not been as fortunate and are currently struggling to come up with ways to turn that ham into something new and exciting (for 4th day in a row) here's a treat from ye goode olde Ireland: Colcannon!

Initially this was a dish that was particularly popular in the autumn as the kale was in season. At its most frugal that's pretty much all this was: mashed potatos and kale (or cabbage).  On a good day this has evolved to contain ham (or bacon) along with some leeks (or onion). This time I recycled Brussel sprouts left over from the Christmas dinner into it along with some roasted garlic left over from the herring in garlicky mustard dressing. And mustard of course: ham  mustard!

This isn't a camera-loving photogenic diva, but does the trick alright - this is just the thing to restore one's powers after yet another long night of craic that this festive season seems to be full of...)

Serves 4

12 (small) potatos
1 dl hot milk
150 gr butter
salt, white pepper
1 tsp mustard
2 large roasted garlic cloves (for instructions please see here)
1/2 leek
300 g Brussel sprout leaves or a bag of kale (or cabbage)
about 400 g boiled ham or gammon 
(a couple of dl cream)

Boil or steam the potatos. Mash with butter and milk (add more if needed), squeeze in the paste from the garlic cloves, add mustard and season. For extra rich colcannon add some cream. Finely slice the leek and sauté in butter until soft. Add ham and sprouts or kale and continue cooking until piping hot. Combine with mash.

PS. A tip I forgot from the original post is browning the butter first in a pan - this gives it (and the mash) a wonderfully toasty, in its nuttiness almost toffee-like depth and lifts the mash to a whole new level! In this case less butter is also needed.




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