As with most Americans, my heritage is a bit of a mixture. Those who knew me before I was married know that my maiden name is Shea (originally derived from O’Shea), and being as I am part Irish (we still have family in County Kerry), each year I really enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
This year we had planned a relaxing beach day at beautiful Key Biscayne before grabbing a couple green beers at bustling Mary Brickell Village nearby, so as for our Irish-inspired dinner last night, I was looking for something simple yet delicious. I wasn’t looking to get into some all-day crockpot action, so instead of slowly cooking corned beef, I decided to incorporate deli sliced meat (mine was thinly sliced, but use whatever thickness you prefer) into a recipe I had for colcannon.
Colcannon is an Irish-style mashed potatoes, packed with tasty (and good for you!) green veggies, including kale, leeks and cabbage. Most might consider it a side dish, but when you add the crispy sliced corned beef (which we got directly from the Publix deli), colcannon serves as a filling main course. I mean, we’re talking about meat and potatoes here, so you really can’t go wrong.
Here’s the recipe, which I adapted from a Paula Deen cookbook.
5 russet potatoes
½ pound sliced corned beef, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 large leek – halved and thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 head napa cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 chopped green onion tops
Cut and steam the potatoes until tender. Return to the still hot pot and add 1/4 cup butter, milk, kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoons pepper. Mash together.
Melt the remaining butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, leeks and chopped corned beef. Saute until the veggies begin to soften and the beef is warmed through. Add the kale and toss until soft and wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and toss until tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and the remaining pepper.
Mix the cabbage and mashed potatoes together well. Sprinkle with the green onion slices before serving.
If you want to go all out with an Irish meal, I’d suggest this recipe for slow-cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage. I riffed on this one last year and it was a huge hit at our St. Pat’s party.
Of course, if you’re looking for an even easier way to get in the St. Paddy’s Day spirit, but don’t feel like cooking, you could always opt for my husband Kenny’s recipe for green beer. It’s as simple as pouring a light-colored beer into a glass (Coors Light shown here) and adding two drops of green food coloring. Slainte!