This Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon makes an Irish breakfast colcannon – or brunch colcannon if you prefer. It makes a deliciously-rich traditional Irish colcannon dish of mashed potatoes with butter, milk, cabbage, spring onions, and bacon, and we top the colcannon with a fried egg and crispy bacon.
If you have leftover Irish colcannon after your St Patrick’s Day feast of traditional Irish dishes, then make this Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon the next morning. It’s the perfect post-Paddy’s Day hangover cure or simply a comforting weekend breakfast or brunch.
If you’re looking for traditional Irish dishes to cook for St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, then do browse our collection of best Irish recipes. As we did last year, we’re using the Irish holiday of Saint Patrick’s Day as an excuse to cook Irish food again this week.
As for this Irish colcannon with fried eggs and crispy bacon, we’re calling it an Irish breakfast colcannon – or Irish brunch colcannon if you reckon it’s too heavy for breakfast. Or it could serve as a breakfast for dinner dish, because with the world turned upside down who really cares what we eat when?
Our thinking is that if we can have breakfast tacos, breakfast salads, breakfast congees, and savoury breakfast porridges simply by adding bacon and eggs, then why not breakfast colcannon with fried eggs and crispy bacon? Okay, brunch colcannon if breakfast is too early for mashed potatoes.
This Irish colcannon recipe is the latest recipe in our Weekend Eggs series of quintessential eggs dishes from around the world. If you’re visiting us for the first time, we started Weekend Eggs back in 2010 when we launched Grantourismo with a yearlong global grand tour aimed at promoting slow, local and experiential travel, more sustainable, ethical, engaging, and immersive forms of travel.
We spent two weeks in each destination, staying in apartment rentals and holiday homes to get an insight into how locals lived their lives. In each place we settled into, we explored the local food, connected with local cooks and chefs, and learnt to cook local specialties, which we shared in a series called The Dish, for which I learnt to cook a quintessential dish of each place, and our Weekend Eggs series, which we rebooted early last year.
If you’re an eggs lover and particularly a lover of breakfast eggs dishes, do dig into our Weekend Eggs archive (link above) for inspiration and ideas or browse our collections of our 21 best breakfast recipes of 2021 and our all-time 12 most popular Weekend Eggs recipes in 12 years of Grantourismo, which we compiled as part of Grantourismo’s 12th birthday celebrations.
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Irish Colcannon Recipe with Fried Egg and Crispy Bacon
Our Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon will make you what we’re calling an Irish breakfast colcannon or brunch colcannon but you could really eat this at any time of the day. The best time to tuck into a bowl of this Irish classic is when you’re craving serious comfort food.
Because this Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon is a deliciously-rich take on the traditional Irish colcannon, which consists of creamy potato mash with butter, milk, cabbage, spring onions, and bacon, which we’ve topped with a fried egg and crispy bacon rashers.
Like a lot of our other recipes on Grantourismo since the pandemic started two years ago, this Irish colcannon recipe is coming from a place of longing. But in this case, it’s not longing for Ireland as such, which we actually never got to during decades of travel through Europe, despite my ancestry being a mix of Irish and German.
Rather, it’s a longing for Irish friends, particularly on Lara’s part, who had some close Irish colleagues who became dear mates whom she’s missing. As it’s the Irish holiday St Patrick’s Day next week, Lara was digging around for an Irish shepherd’s pie recipe that might match the very memorable pie Irish friends dished up in Abu Dhabi many years ago.
It seems during her research, she spotted an Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon and so we decided why wait for St Patrick’s Day, we’d share a recipe for our ideal Irish breakfast for our Weekend Eggs series.
Just a few tips to making this Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon.
Tips to Making this Irish Colcannon Recipe with Fried Egg and Crispy Bacon
My best tip to making this Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon is one that every bacon lover should know. If you’re stir-frying any vegetables for a dish where bacon is also going to be fried, cook the bacon first. Bacon fat is magic.
I always add a little of the butter to the cabbage, and also sometimes put it on low with a lid on to steam to soften it a little.
When making your mash remember to slowly add the warmed milk a splash at a time over medium heat. Make sure each splash of milk is fully incorporated before adding the next. It really adds to the creamy texture.
Also, Irish colcannon is not exactly silky smooth, but rather has a rustic texture. So while I push the potatoes through the potato ricer I do not use the tamis to get the potato mash ultra fine as I normally would.
If you add the milk slowly and use a strong silicone spatula to incorporate it (never ever use a fork for this; it’s useless) the mash will be quite smooth. It doesn’t need to be as creamy as a classic French mash as we’re adding the cabbage mixture to it which will give it texture.
I’ve spotted a lot of colcannon recipes on the Internet that use kale instead of cabbage. While kale is an ingredient that has been traditionally used in colcannon recipes, some Irish chefs I know roll their eyes at kale, because the resulting texture is very different to cabbage.
If you enjoy this Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon do check out another of our favourite colcannon recipes, which I serve with a salmon fillet. It is by a very Irish chef whose recipe calls for pancetta and prawns (shrimp), and it’s absolutely sublime with salmon or any fish fillet. Though perhaps not for breakfast. Nor brunch.
Irish Colcannon Recipe with Fried Egg and Crispy Bacon
- 750 g classic mash potatoes - see the potato mash recipe here
- 150 g bacon rashes - around 8 rashes
- 200 g savoy cabbage - sliced thinly
- 50 g butter - softened
- 4 spring onions - whites and greens separated and sliced
- 4 eggs
- Place the bacon rashes in a pan and cook to your liking. We like it on the crispy side. Set aside on absorbent towels.
- Chop up a couple of bacon rashes into squares.
- With the fat from the bacon still in the pan, add the cabbage slices and the base (white) parts of the spring onions and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring. Add a little of the butter to the pan and season lightly.
- When the cabbage is wilted and starting to take on colour, remove it from the heat.
- Reheat the mash and stir in the butter. Add the bacon pieces and then the cabbage mixture. Keep warm and add extra butter if you desire.
- Fry the eggs to your liking – we like soft yolks to mix with the colcannon.
- Distribute the colcannon mix amongst 4 places. Add a slice of bacon on the side. Place the egg on top of the colcannon and season the dish with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with the spring onions and serve immediately.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our Irish colcannon recipe with fried egg and crispy bacon as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.