Sometimes we fancy simple home-cooked comfort food. For us, there is nothing better than a cheap and cheerful Irish Colcannon with bacon and a soft-set egg. This meal offers great flavours and a variety of textures to please anyone!
This recipe started with a summer barbeque. We had a lovely smoky, grilled feast in the garden with all the traditional sides including potato salad and a Cabbage Slaw. At the end of it, we had some new potatoes and some sweetheart cabbage left to use. And that’s how our version of Colcannon was born!
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What is Colcannon?
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish, typically made with mashed potatoes and either cabbage or kale. Irish Colcannon is normally served with either ham or sausages and sometimes a fried egg. The name of the dish was first recorded in history by a Welsh traveller William Bulkeley. Spookily, he first had this dish on a Halloween night in Dublin… So if you are making this Irish Bacon Colcannon for Halloween, why not drizzle it all with some spicy chilli sauce for the spooky effect!
Tips and Tricks
Best Cabbage to Use
It is a straightforward recipe with everyday ingredients and simple methods. To start, just boil some potatoes. Shred and boil the cabbage. Almost any cabbage will do: we tried it with white, green, savoy and sweetheart cabbage and they all taste great in this recipe. We opted for sweetheart cabbage on this occasion!
Cooking the Cabbage
If there is one mistake I would try to avoid is overcooking your cabbage. We love a bit of cabbage crunch in our colcannon, so you may want to adjust the cooking time depending on the size of your cabbage shreds and the type of cabbage you’re using. We find that sweetheart and savoy cabbages take less time than white or green cabbage.
Type of Bacon
You can use either streaky or back bacon rashers for this recipe. Just make sure it is crispy. Adding oil to the pan may not make it any healthier but really helps with the crispiness and browning.
Poaching an Egg
Once you’ve mixed all the colcannon ingredients together, and your bacon is nice and crispy, all you need to do is poach yourself a perfect egg. If you’ve not done this before, here’s a guide on how to have a lovely round soft-set poached egg that will have an oozing yolk when you cut into it: How to Poach a Perfect Egg?
And here you have the modern colcannon with bacon topped with a runny poached egg! Enjoy it anytime you have some leftover cabbage. These Irish potatoes and cabbage can be easily halved or doubled, just make sure to poach eggs in separate pans if poaching more than 4.
What To Serve With Colcannon?
We designed this Colcannon recipe with Bacon as the main dish, which is equally delicious and filling. However, if you are feeding a hungry crown, why not make a couple of delicious and healthy side dishes to go with it. We would recommend the following:
- Fried Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (Garlic Broccolini)
- Spring Greens with Lemon & Thyme
- Quick Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (recipe coming soon)
Other Bacon Recipes
If you like salty smoky bacon, we don’t blame you. For other delicious ideas for recipes using bacon, have a look at some of our all-time favourites below:
Irish Colcannon with Bacon
- 750 g new potatoes halved
- 400 g cabbage (white or sweetheart) trimmed and finely shredded
- 6 spring onions
- 10-12 rashers bacon (smoked or unsmoked)
- 25 g butter
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 4 eggs
- oil vegetable, rapeseed or sunflower
- Boil your potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
- Whilst potatoes are cooking, put your shredded cabbage in another large pan, pour boiling water over the cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes, until just tender.
- Heat a tbsp of oil and fry eight rashers of bacon until crispy. Set aside. Then cut up the remaining two rashers into small pieces and fry for 3-4 minutes until slightly coloured.
- Add the cabbage and spring onions to the frying pan with the bacon and heat through, stirring.
- Drain the potatoes, add butter and season, then crush roughly with a masher. Stir the cabbage, bacon and spring onions (reserve some for decoration) into the crushed potatoes. Stir in the mustard. Cover with a lid and keep warm over a very low heat. This is your colcannon.
- To poach the eggs, crack the eggs into the gently simmering water with a splash of vinegar and poach for 3 mins. For instructions on how to poach a perfect egg, see the notes below.
- Spoon the colcannon onto four plates or bowls. Arrange the crispy bacon on top (2-3 rashers per portion).
- Take the eggs out from the water with a slotted spoon and place on top. Season with black pepper and some spring onion.