Traditional Bangers, Colcannon and Guinness Gravy

Being Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays! I spent 10 days in Ireland a few years ago and fell in love with everything about it. As soon as the world opens up again post-COVID, I plan to return and take my son.

Everything was lush and green and beautiful and just made my heart soar.

I also fell in love with the food. I took pictures of EVERYTHING I ate, but here are the highlights.

I also had some fun beverages.

So when my mother in law sent me a recipe for colcannon, a tradition Irish dish with mashed potatoes, I thought, why not?

For this St. Patrick’s Day, I made bangers (brats here in the US, because I couldn’t get Irish sausage at the last minute), colcannon, and a Guinness gravy.

Colcannon, it turns out, can be a combination of mashed potatoes, cabbage, and green onions, or substitute kale or leeks. Or a combo. I couldn’t find leeks in time, so I went potatoes, cabbage and green onions.

When I boil potatoes, I cut them into small pieces so the cook faster. A LOT faster. While that was going on, I cored a cabbage (which I had to look up) and sliced it thin.

Then I boiled the cabbage, oh, 5 minutes, drained it and added a third of a stick of butter to lovingly melt into it. Then I added some chopped green onion and the cabbage to the mashed potatoes, folded them in and…

Voila. Colcannon.

It seemed like it should have been delicious. But no. It was a definite “not again” meal in our household. Which makes me want to try it with kale and leeks, and even more to eat it in Ireland. Even with a full stick of butter, we didn’t love it.

But perhaps it’s because it’s the first time out. Practice makes perfect, no? In the meantime, #foodfail.

I did make an OK Guinness gravy, however. It wasn’t perfect and we decided the flavor portions were off. There was a little too much bitterness to it. But we managed to eat it.

Caramelized onion, Guinness, butter, Worcestshire sauce, stone ground mustard, s&p, of course, and a titch of sugar. It *should* have worked. But it just didn’t.

It was so. close. though. We decided to try it again some day with less Guinness and substitute some beef broth to tone down the bitterness.

All in all, it was edible, if not amazing.

But you know, nothing is ever perfect is the first time out!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, a day late, from our family to yours. <3

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