To most people, kale, or "farmers cabbage" as my grandma called it, is just an ornamental decoration seen in supermarket display cases, or the useless plate garnish that we toss aside at restaurants. With its ruffled, deep green leaves, kale is a pretty vegetable, but it also has a tender texture and a delicate, mild and slightly sweet taste. It’s a great way to introduce greens to your dinner table.
Colcannon is traditional peasant fare of cabbage mixed in roughly smashed potatoes with lots of butter, salt, and pepper. Intended to be hearty and filling, this is cheap food and it's easy to make and also very tasty too, but my recipe substitutes shredded kale for ordinary cabbage, giving the potatoes a wonderfully festive and speckled green appearance.
I used sea salt with this recipe. I dunno... Maybe it's just my imagination, but do you think sea salt adds a better taste than plain table salt?
2 lbs (about 4 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 bunch kale, washed with the ribs removed and the leaves cut into pieces
4-5 garlic cloves
1/2 stick butter softened to room temperature
1/3 cup milk
Pour 1/2 cup water into a large pressure cooker. Place the cut potatoes in a steamer basket and lower it into the bottom of the pressure cooker as the lower tier. If necessary, use a cooking rack to elevate the potatoes above the waterline. Place the cut kale into a plain insert pan (one without holes) and crimp a square of aluminum foil to cover the top. Arrange the second tier pan with the kale on top of the potatoes. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves on top of the foil covering the kale. Lock the lid in place. Bring to 15psi over high heat, immediately reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting to stabilize and maintain that pressure. Cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat and use the natural release method before opening the lid.
Snip off one end of each garlic clove and pop out the buttery soft goodness inside. Mash to a smooth consistency and add to the potatoes. Add the softened butter, and season the potatoes with lots salt and a very generous amount of fresh, coarsely ground black pepper. I use a stand mixer with the dough mixing attachment to smash my potatoes, slowly adding just enough milk to get the desired consistency. For better control, you might want to smash your potatoes with a potato masher or a fork, but if you do opt for a mixer, be careful and just pulse the power or you'll go from homey and rustic, coarsely smashed potatoes, to a glob of gluey potato starch in the blink of an eye. Depending on your preferences, the potatoes should have a coarse texture with lots of bean-sized potato lumps in the creamer mix.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the bottom the pressure cooker, or use a skillet. Sauté the cooked kale over medium heat, stirring as it wilts down to about a quarter of its volume. Stir the sautéed kale into the smashed potatoes and taste for seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish.
If you're not a big fan of curly kale, you can always fall back on the more traditional cabbage for this recipe, or even substitute some other type of leafy greens such as spinach, or chard and so forth; it's OK to do your own thing. It's hard to get colcannon wrong, and within the broad guidelines of this recipe, you'll want to add lots more salt and fresh ground pepper than you would normally to really bring out the flavors. Oh, and don't overwork the potatoes, they are supposed to be rough with lots of chunky pieces mixed in with the smooth and creamy parts.
Looking for a pressure cooker recipe for Corned Beef and all the Fixings ?
Cooking Time Chart For Corned Beef
More St. Patrick's Day Recipes for the pressure cooker on my website:
Irish Potato Farl