Christmas colcannon

Colcannon is Ireland’s take on mashed potatoes with personality. Kale makes a nice green colcannon for St Patrick’s Day, but red chard makes a red and green version for Christmas. Shredded cabbage is best if you want your green-enhanced mashed potatoes to be more discreet. Adapted from Simply Recipes.


  • 3 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 6 cups thinly sliced chard leaves, thick stems removed (about 1 bunch – can also use cabbage or kale)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (2 tablespoons for cooking chard; the rest for mashing potatoes)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup scallions or chives, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Scrub potatoes well and place whole potatoes in large pot with a tightly-fitting lid. Add water to a level about 1/3 up the potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover pot, then reduce heat to low. Cook 25-35 minutes, depending on size of potatoes, until potatoes poked with a fork easily pierce through.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, melt two tablespoons butter in a pan over medium heat. Add chard and cook briefly until wilted. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat milk with scallions on stovetop or microwave.
  4. Plunge cooked potatoes into cold/ice water for a few seconds, then pull peel off and return hot potatoes to pot.
  5. Add remaining butter to potatoes and mash with potato masher or fork, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add cooked chard and milk, mixing together and adjusting seasonings as necessary. Serve hot.

Serves 6-8.


  • You don’t have to use this method for cooking potatoes – peel, cut and boil works fine too. Cooking potatoes in their skins keeps a little more flavor and nutrition, and it saves you the trouble of peeling the raw potatoes. Watch this video for a demonstration of a quick method for peeling hot potatoes.
  • Cut butter in half if you like, though you may need to add a bit more milk. I’m indulging here for Christmas.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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