Baked Irish Colcannon Casserole|
Don't reserve this yummy dish just for St. Patrick's Day...it is just too good to eat just once a year! A rich, creamy mix of vegetables topped with melted cheese, it makes for an excellent vegetarian main dish when served with a crisp salad, but is also great as a side dish. If you do not want a vegetarian dish you can add some crumbled, cooked bacon, chopped ham or corned beef, and use chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth. For a vegan version you can use your favorite substitutes for the butter, egg, and cream. We like using any of the wonderful Irish Cheddar cheeses, but any sharp Cheddar will work. This dish can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance, covered tightly, and refrigerated. If baking straight from the fridge, bake for an additional 15-20 minutes and check the center of the casserole to make sure it is piping hot before adding the cheddar.
5 large washed, peeled, and quartered potatoes
1/2 cup butter, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 large washed and chopped leeks
2 minced garlic cloves
1 small diced onion
1/2 cup vegetable stock or broth
2/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heavily grease a 2-quart casserole. Place the potatoes in a large pot and enough water to cover the potatoes completely, salt liberall, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Mash the potatoes with the cream, 6 tablespoons butter, and egg and set aside. While boiling the potatoes, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, leeks, garlic, and onions and saute until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add the stock, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add the potatoes to the cabbage mixture and stir to mix well and reheat the potatoes. Scrape the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, then top evenly with the Cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered for 10-12 minutes more, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.
Makes 6 main dish or 8 side dish servings.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes