St.Patrick’s Day is a traditional Irish festival celebrated annually on the 17th March to commemorate the country’s patron saint. Between the flowing Guinness and green attire associated with this day there’s quite an interesting story behind the man it all revolves around.
It is believed that St.Patrick wasn’t actually Irish but came from Scottish or Welsh heritage. Abducted at 16 and shipped to Northern Ireland he was worked as a slave used primarily as a sheep herder. After escaping he is said to have had a vision which saw his return to Ireland where he began to spread the word of Christ. St.Patrick’s Day itself marks the anniversary of his death and is traditionally celebrated as a day of spiritual renewal. He is also famously associated with the myth that he chased all of the snakes in Ireland into the sea (scientists claim there’s no evidence of snakes having ever been part of the island’s native fauna but I prefer the traditional explanation for their absence!).
Potatoes are a traditional staple and integral part of the Irish diet. Choosing just one recipe to showcase here was difficult! The dish I’ve opted for is Colcannon – a traditional and simple creamy mash with cabbage and, in this variation, seasonal wild garlic. This can be substituted for finely chopped spring onions or spinach when the garlic is out of season or if preferred. You could also swap the milk used for a couple of tablespoons of our cold pressed rapeseed oil for a vegan alternative to this recipe. I’ve used Cara potatoes in this recipe – a popular Irish variety with a fluffy, white flesh. You can find it included in our Irish selection box alongside three of our other favourite Irish varieties.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Peel the potatoes and cut into even sized chunks. Place in a saucepan of cold water with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
- In the meantime heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the cabbage and wild garlic for 5-10 minutes or until starting to crisp and brown. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and leave to let them steam dry for a couple of minutes.
- Mash the potatoes until smooth and add the butter and milk as required to get a creamy consistency. Gently stir in the fried cabbage and wild garlic and mix thoroughly.
- Serve and enjoy!