Potato and Cabbage Hash (Colcannon)
This two-stage pan-fried version of Irish colcannon combines buttery onions, cabbage that retains some of its crunch, and crispy caramelized potatoes. It calls for smashing the potatoes in the pan as they cook—they end up chunky, exposing the interior so as much of the surface as possible gets crispy. Butter adds flavor and creates the crisp texture; don’t be shocked by how much the potatoes absorb. Serve this as a side for corned beef, boiled ham, roasted chicken, or even steak. You can also make it the center of a meatless meal by spreading the finished hash in a baking pan and forming divots into which you crack an egg. Bake in a hot oven until the eggs are set.
Game plan: You can boil and cool the potatoes the day before you plan to make the hash. You can also make this 3 days ahead up to step 10 and refrigerate. Do the final browning just before serving.
- 3 pounds butterball or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 medium head of green cabbage, cored
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 large yellow onion, medium dice
- 5 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- 1/2 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1Get out 2 rimmed baking sheets and set them aside. Take a large soup pot, add the whole, unpeeled potatoes and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the kosher salt. Add enough cold water to come 4 inches above the level of the potatoes and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, uncovered. Cook until the tip of a small, sharp knife can pierce the potatoes with no resistance, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and gently spread them out in single layers on the rimmed baking sheets. Set them aside to cool at room temperature.
2While the potatoes are cooking, cut the cabbage into slices 3/4 inch thick.
3Melt half the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and the remaining 1 teaspoon of the measured salt. Sweat the onions until soft and nearly translucent but not browned, about 12 minutes.
4Add the sliced cabbage to the onion and stir to combine. Cook until the cabbage is just starting to wilt, about 8 minutes (the cabbage should retain some crunch). Turn off the heat but leave the onion and cabbage in the pan.
5When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half.
6Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and add 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the halved potatoes—make sure they’re in a single layer, positioned so the sliced surface is face down against the skillet. Whatever you do, don’t crowd the pan—you want the potatoes to sear, not steam. (If you don’t own a skillet large enough, cook the potatoes in 2 batches.) Let the potatoes cook, undisturbed, until a nice caramelized crust forms on the cut surface, about 15 minutes.
7Set the onion and cabbage, still in their skillet, over low heat, and add the browned potatoes. Using the flat side of a large meat tenderizer or a masher, roughly smash up the potatoes in the pan, barbarian style—they should be evenly broken up but still pretty chunky.
8Cut the remaining butter into 4 or 5 slices. Add the slices to the pan 1 by 1, folding them in with a spatula or wooden spoon so they just melt into the potato mixture.
9Turn off the heat and gently stir in the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt if necessary.
10To finish, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, add the potato mixture and flatten it with a kitchen spoon or metal spatula, like a hefty potato pancake, so it’s about 3/4 inch thick.
11Cook slowly, until the potatoes are well crisped and golden on the bottom, about 15 minutes (don’t be tempted to rush things by turning up the heat, or the onions will burn).
12Carefully flip and crisp the other side (if the cake breaks up, no worries; just pat it back into shape with the spatula), about 10 minutes. Remove with the spatula or flip onto a warmed serving plate and serve immediately.
Huw Thornton is a chef in Oakland, California.
© Red Ventures. All Rights Reserved