This classic Irish dish of cabbage and potatoes, often eaten as a side, was traditionally made on All Saints Day, otherwise known as Halloween. Hidden in the colcannon would be a ring, coin, thimble or button, each of which held a specific fortune for the person who found it. So beloved is this dish, it even has a folk song written in its honour.


Skill level

Average: 4.2 (23 votes)


  • 600 g (about 3) sebago or King Edward potatoes 
  • 100 ml pouring cream 
  • 125 g butter 
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped 
  • 800 g (about ½) savoy cabbage, core removed, thinly sliced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside for 5 minutes or until skins are dry and potatoes are cool enough to handle. Peel, discard skins and return to saucepan. Mash until smooth.

Meanwhile, heat cream in a small saucepan. Add to mashed potato and combine. Set aside in pan and keep warm.

Melt 60 g butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add spring onions and cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl, reserve pan and set aside at room temperature.

Add cabbage and 1 tsp salt to reserved saucepan with enough water to cover. Cook over high heat for 8 minutes or until starting to soften. Drain well in a colander, pressing on cabbage to extract as much liquid as possible. Add cabbage and spring onion mixture to mashed potato, stirring over medium heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, and spoon into a bowl. Make an indent in the top with the back of a spoon, slice remaining 65 g butter and place on top to serve.

As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 9, pg60.

Photography by John Laurie.