Many years ago, we frequented an Irish pub, which, unlike many so-called “Irish” pubs was the real deal, staffed and run by, well, Irish people.

They had 2 items on the menu that we regularly enjoyed – potato wedges with sour-cream and bacon, and Colcannon.

I’d been thinking about Paleoizing Colcannon, a standard consisting primarily of mashed potato and cabbage, for quite some time now.

Naturally enough, the base of the Paleo version was going to have to be cauliflower mash.

Yesterday it occurred to me that not only did I have cauliflower in the freezer, but I also had half a red cabbage sat in the fridge, coughing ever so politely in order to attract my attention every time I opened the door.

In fact, in order to have a crack (or should that be craic? ) at Colcannon, all I was going to have to buy was bacon and chives. Sounds like a plan to me.

Looking at them, the list of ingredients is hardly hold-the-front-page material – cauliflower, bacon, cabbage, onions, chives, and garlic, but stick them all together and they transform into a fire engine.

No, hang on, that’s a Decepticon.

What they do become is a please-sir-can-I-have-some-moreish, fight-you-over-the-last-spoonful-darling, lick-the-plate-clean, type of concoction, just as much at home as a side dish as it is when doled up in larger amounts as an easy supper or main course.

Paleovirtus Jr. had 2 helpings. Two. Twice once. Astonishing.

Next up, a Paleo version of those potato wedges. Hmmm, if I start with sweet potatoes, or butternut squash….hmmmmm…..



  • 1.2 kg frozen cauliflower florets
  • 280g cubed smoked bacon
  • ½ a large red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Place the cabbage in a large, lidded pan. Add just enough cold water to cover. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then drop down to a low simmer. Cook until the cabbage is just tender, about 15 minutes. When the cabbage is cooked to your liking, drain, and then set aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick frying pan. Stir fry the bacon until golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Set aside.
  • Bring the bacon fat and olive oil in the frying pan back up to medium heat. Add the sliced onions, and fry for 5 minutes or so. Add the minced garlic, and fry for a further 3 minutes, or until the onions are golden and soft. Remove the onions and garlic from the pan, and set aside.
  • Place the frozen cauliflower florets in a large pan, and add cold water to cover. Add 1 tsp of salt, and bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer. Cook for 6 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender. Drain the cauliflower, season with salt and black pepper to taste, then purée with a hand held / stick blender.
  • Place the puréed cauliflower in a container suitable for your re-heating method of choice – conventional oven or microwave. Add the cabbage, bacon, and onion and garlic. Mix well.
  • Re-heat the colcannon to your liking. Stir in the chopped fresh chives. Serve.


2 thoughts on “Colcannon

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