I enjoy serving something special for holidays, birthdays, Wednesdays…I admit it, I like to cook. Cottage Pie sounded like a perfect fit for St. Patrick’s Day, but I wanted to add a unique touch to distinguish it from my usual Cottage Pie. In case you are wondering why it is named Cottage Pie rather than Shepherd’s Pie: the name Shepherd’s Pie is a reference to the protein source which is sheep. If the protein source is beef, I don’t think we would want to call it Cow’s Pie. Cottage Pie seems more like comfort food and less like fertilizer. I muse about these things sometimes.
To make it special, I used Colcannon instead of mashed potatoes. Colcannon is an Irish version of mashed potatoes with greens mixed in. It is traditionally served at Halloween, but it works nicely with Cottage Pie. I then took it a step further by giving it an Appel Farms touch with Bacon Cheddar. Everything is better with cheese and bacon.
Here’s a song to get you in a festive mood for making this dish:
Did you ever eat colcannon,
Made with lovely pickled cream.
With the greens & scallions mingled
Like a picture in a dream
Did you ever make a hole on top
To hold the melting flake
Or the creamy flavored butter
That your mother used to make
Yes you did, so you did
So did he and so did I
And the more I think about it
Sure the nearer I’m to cry
Oh wasn’t it the happy days
When troubles we had not
And our mothers made colcannon
In the little skillet pot.
Colcannon Cottage Pie
Prepare the filling:
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain any excess fat if necessary.
Add the onion to the beef. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Add the corn, peas, and carrots, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add butter and stir until the butter is melted. Stir in the flour, thyme, and garlic. Stir for one minute. Turn up the heat and add the beef broth. Cook and stir until the broth thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.
Prepare the Colcannon
Put the potatoes in a medium pot. Cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the kale and saute until it starts to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. Add the green onions and cook another minute. The word of the day is smaragdine. That’s the name of the vibrant green color that kale turns when you saute it. Your life is now complete because you know that.
Mash the potatoes with the milk. Fold in the kale, onions, and cheese, add salt and pepper to taste.
If you ever want to serve the Colcannon on it’s own, it’s lovely with a big dollop of butter on top.
Spread the colcannon evenly over the beef and veggie mixture.
Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes or until the colcannon is golden brown and crispy on top. Serve and enjoy.
Here’s a printable version for your convenience.