The Coal Region is home to many with deep Irish roots. The discovery of Anthracite and the plentiful work for miners led many Irish laborers, escaping oppression and the infamous potato famine, to the Coal Region. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish consisting of cabbage (or kale) and onion (or leeks) fried until tender then folded into creamy mashed potatoes. Bacon may be added if desired.

Every family has “their” recipe and each will be a little bit different than the others. Colcannon makes a terrific side dish with ham or corned beef, but it can be a meal in itself. Simple, down-to-earth comfort food that’s easy on the budget and sure to please your taste buds.

Cook’s Note

Make leftover Magic

Form refrigerated leftovers into patties and fry in a pan in some melted butter until browned on both sides.


Recipe by A Coalcracker in the Kitchen


  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 4 slices bacon

  • 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped (or substitute with kale)

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  • Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  • Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent.
  • Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper.
  • Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl.
  • Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter.
  • Serve immediately.


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