Colcannon is a classic Irish potato side dish that is a favorite around St. Patrick’s Day. This version has been modified to be vegan. Traditionally this recipe is made with cabbage, that is sautéed and folded into the mash potatoes and then broiled to create a golden brown crust. Since the flavor of cooked cabbage will increase the perception of DMS (Dimethyl Sulfide) in the beer pairing, I use kale to avoid this issue.
In a medium-size pot, add the cut-up potatoes (peeled or not, your preference), add 10 ounces of Irish Red Ale (reserving 2 ounces), salt and enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to create a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a skillet or sauté pan placed over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leeks with a pinch of salt and sauté until they are transparent, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add half of the kale, cooking until the leaves wilt, about 2 – 3 minutes. Then add the remaining kale and cook another 2 – 3 minutes. When all the kale is wilted, add the soy milk, along with the reserved 2 ounces of Irish Red Ale and let warm through. Turn off the heat and keep warm.
When the potatoes are done, pour through a colander and let drain for a minute, removing as much of the water as possible. Place the potatoes back into the pot and using a potato masher, pulverize them to remove all lumps. Fold in the hot leek/kale mixture and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Transfer the potatoes to an ovenproof serving dish. Make a few small wells in the center and drizzle the remaining 5 tablespoons of olive oil over the surface of the potatoes.
Place under a broiler and lightly brown the top of the Colcannon for 2 – 5 minutes, depending on how closely set the dish is from the top of the broiler. To keep warm, place in a 250°F/121°C oven until ready to serve. Garnish with chives just before serving.
Alternatively, this dish can be made with parsnips instead of potatoes, and leeks as a substitute for the onions.