Colcannon is a traditional dish of the Irish. And, what's not to love - it's potatoes loaded with goodies. As tradition has it, colcannon is simply potatoes with cabbage or kale added (along with the yumminess that make great potatoes - butter, cream/milk, salt and pepper,) depending on the cook of course.
Some variations over the years add ham or bacon to the mix and my version is no different. My St. Patrick's Day Colcannon Casserole recipe includes Italian sausage - this way Italians can celebrate right along with the Irish over a pint of Black Guinness! :)
So, I baked the sausage in the oven and then sliced it when cool. However, you can remove the sausage from the casing and brown it off in a skillet if you so wish, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. And, as everybody has their favorite version of mashed potatoes - just make your own - but do not whip them. Make them a little firmer and feel free to add lots of butter and cream - yum!
I truly thank the Emerald Isle for making Colcannon a hearty staple - you can do lots with this recipe, its one of my favorites.
5 lbs. potatoes, mashed to your liking
1 head of savoy cabbage, chopped fine
1 tbsp. table salt
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Roughly chop the cabbage into small pieces. Rinse and place in a large pot covered with water. Bring to a boil and add the salt. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the cabbage until its tender. Drain (be careful of steam burns,) and return to the pot. Add the butter and stir into the cabbage. Set aside.
2. Place the sausages in a baking dish and drizzle with the oil. Bake the sausage, turning occasionally until golden brown - and then let them cool and slice the diagonally into thin pieces. Set them aside.
3. Mix the cabbage with the mashed potatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and butter as you wish.
4. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the mashed potatoes in the bottom, followed by the sausage and parmesan cheese - repeating layers and ending with mashed potatoes and parmesan. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and is starting to turn golden.
Let the casserole rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Warn your diners to be careful - this casserole is piping hot and holds its heat for quite a while.