Colcannon is my favorite winter warmer. It's a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and greens. I like use the darkest, most textured greens I can get my hands on. Spring greens, savoy cabbge, or curly kale as I used here. This is a great way to use up greens lurking unloved at the back of the fridge. Traditionally you should also use leek. I used spring onion here as a substitute, but honestly leeks give such a richer flavour.
When you're making Colcannon, gravy and sausages you want to have 3 pans going on at once. A small frying pan, a saucepan for the gravy, and a steamer or large pot for the potatoes. This is the only way to have everything hot and ready at the same time.
Ingredients for 2 people plus leftovers:
- 4 large potatoes (use 2 large or 3 medium if you don't want leftovers. Ask the greengrocer at your farmers market which varieties are best for mashing)
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 1 bunch spring onions or 2 medium leeks
- 2-4 tablespoons dairy-free margerine, plus 1 knob
- up to 1/2 cup soy or rice milk
- Boil 2 litres of water in a large pot or steamer.
- Peel and chop the potatoes into 1 inch chunks and add to the pot or steamer.
- Heat a knob of margerine in a small frying pan on a low heat. Chop the leek or spring onion and add to the pan to soften.
- Trim the kale, removing the stalks, as shown above. Chop the leaves into smaller pieces and wash them.
- When the potatoes are soft enough to squash with a fork, drain them and throw them into a large mixing bowl. Add the kale to the steamer or pot where the potatoes were cooking before.
- Mash the potatoes with margerine and soy milk. Start with a tablespoon of each and add more as you need to, to get a smooth creamy fluffy mash.
- When your mash is lump-free, add your leek or spring onion and mix it in. You can now use that small frying pan to heat up your veggie sausages.
- The kale is ready to add to the mash when it has turned a darker green and gone a bit floppy. Try not to leave it too long or it'll stick together and be hard to mix into the mash. It only takes about 5 minutes and should look like this:For the Red Onion Gravy:
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos
- 1 teaspoon brown unrefined sugar or agave (optional)
- When your potatoes and leek are cooking, heat a little oil in a saucepan. Finely chop 1/2 small red onion and add to the pan on a low heat.
- Optional - add a little sugar or sweetener as the onions soften to give a caremelised flavour.
- When the onions start to brown like in the picture above, add 1 ladle-ful of the starchy water steaming/boiling the kale.
- Stir in the molasses, sage, pepper, tamari and liquid aminos. Don't worry if you don't have all of these things. Just use what you've got. 1/2 teaspoon of yeast extract is a nice addition.
- Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with just enough water to make a smooth liquid, and add this to the gravy. It will thicken up immediately, so add another ladleful or two of the kale-water.
- Keep the gravy simmering and keep adding the kale-water a ladle-ful at a time until your veggie sausages are cooked, then drizzle all over your meal!