This is what I did for a single-course main meal for two, so adjust as necessary ...
You will need:
- 2 jacket potato-sized potatoes
- a small green pointed cabbage; roughly chopped and cored
- a large onion; roughly chopped
- at least 4 decent rashers of bacon (I used two very thick rashers from a pack of offcuts); cut into 1-2cm lardons
- as many eggs as you want
- salt & fresh black pepper
- butter and/or olive oil
- half glass of white wine (or water)
This is how I did it:
- Wash and chop the potatoes (no I don't peel them!) and boil until well done, as you would for mash.
- As the potatoes come up to being done put the cabbage in a large pot on the hob with the wine; put the lid on and allow it to steam gently for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile drain and roughly smash the potato with a fork (don't purée or cream it; it should be chunky) with some butter, salt and pepper. Keep it warm.
- By now the cabbage is almost cooked and beginning to dry.
- Sauté the onion in a frying pan with a little butter/oil; when it is translucent add the bacon and continue to fry until the bacon is starting to crisp.
- While the onion/bacon cooks, take the lid off the cabbage and add a large knob of butter. Toss it well to coat the cabbage in butter and leave it on a low heat, without the lid, to dry off any remaining liquid.
- When the onion & bacon is done, add it to the cabbage along with the potato. Mix well together on the hob, put on the lid and keep warm. (You can probably turn out the heat, especially if using a good cast-iron pan.)
- Now poach your eggs by whatever method you favour. The white should be set but the yolk still runny.
- Serve the colcannon topped with poached egg(s) and a beverage of your choice.
- My preference is for more cabbage and bacon and slightly less potato.
- Good smoked bacon works best. Bacon offcuts are fine.
- Use any type or mixture of cabbage you like, from white cabbage, through kale to sprouts; though I doubt red cabbage would work very well.
- You can under or over cook the cabbage to your personal taste.
- Add some chopped garlic to the onion, if you wish.
- Leftover potatoes and cabbage are fine as long as they are properly reheated.
- If you wish you can substitute fried eggs for poached. And of course you could use duck or goose eggs if available.
- Go easy on the salt as the bacon may be quite salt enough.