Being boring and teetotal and everything at the moment, there is only so much I can do to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Though the temptation to swallow the entire Liffey’s worth of Guinness is almost overwhelming, the marathon looms and I must look after myself. That said, I hope that you, dear reader, will be celebrating properly tomorrow. You might start with this. I really wanted to do a bacon chop but was unable to dig one out, so a gammon steak had to suffice, and suffice it did.
Colcannon is traditionally made using kale, I believe, but I’m a slut for spring greens at the moment so used those. You could really fling whatever you fancy – peas, spring onion, parsley, whatevs.
A few spuds
A head of spring greens, trimmed and finely shredded
A knob of butter
Milk, a splash
2 gammon steaks
2 tbsp caster sugar
50ml Irish whiskey
Salt, pepper, oil
– Peel and chop the potatoes and put them in a pan of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Meanwhile wash the greens. When easily skewered, drain the spuds and leave in the colander while you melt the butter in the same pan. Toss in the greens, cover and wilt over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and mash with a splash of milk. Season with pepper and keep warm over a gentle flame.
– Trim the rind from the gammon and fry in a little oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Meanwhile put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve. Boil for 4 minutes until chestnut-coloured and add the whiskey, swirling the pan to combine – don’t stir. Add a little hot water if it’s looking a bit dry.
– Remove the gammon to a serving plate. Take the frying pan from the heat and tip in the whiskey sauce, swirling again to combine with the meat juices. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve with the colcannon.