In the Kitchen with Jackie — Irish Bangers & Coolea Colcannon

When I think of Irish cheese my mind immediately goes to cheddar. But for the upcoming St. Paddy’s Day celebrations our cheese shops have brought in a broad selection of wheels hailing from the Emerald Isle. It was Coolea that caught my attention – and my taste buds! Coolea is a farmhouse cheese made in the style of gouda. You might be thinking, isn’t gouda from the Netherlands? And you would be correct! The Willems family are Dutch transplants that started a dairy farm in the mountains of Coolea, County Cork, Ireland in 1979. What began as a hobby grew into an award-winning cheese distributed around the world. This golden cheese is rich and nutty with a subtle sweetness. Great to snack on, but also a fun addition to your favorite dishes.

For this recipe I’m using Coolea to make a cheesy colcannon. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that uses up bits of greens, cabbage, green onions, kale, chard etc. and incorporates them into buttery mashed potatoes. Much like most food history, the origins of colcannon aren’t clear, but it has been known as a dish made for Celtic Samhain celebrations (Halloween). It was used in festive holiday fortune-telling. Trinkets were hidden inside the green mash and whatever you found in your potatoes predicted your fate. I think it’s safe to say the only surprise you’ll find in this version is a hunk of cheese!

This cheesy mashed potato-y goodness is the perfect side to a plate of Irish bangers from Schaller & Weber. These pork sausages were inspired by traditional Irish pub fare and the authentic mix of spices are spot on. Pour yourself a Guiness and allow this simple meal to transport you across the pond!

Irish Bangers & Coolea Colcannon
Serves two (with extra colcannon!)

4 pack of Schaller & Weber Irish Bangers
4 ounces Coolea , grated
2 pounds russet potatoes, cut into large chunks
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons salted butter, like Kerrygold, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups kale or chard, stemmed and cut into strips
4 green onions, chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Add potatoes to a large pot of cold water with a teaspoon of salt. Cook over a high flame until water begins to boil. Continue to boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes and check for doneness.

Meanwhile add onions and 4 tablespoons of butter to a pan. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the cabbage. Allow the vegetables to brown and crispen. Add green onions and chard, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Brown the bangers in a pan over medium high heat. These are precooked so they only need to be warmed and browned.

When the potatoes are finished cooking, mash them up – chunky potatoes are welcome here! Stir in milk then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the vegetable mixture and grated Coolea. Serve warm with remaining butter on top and a sprinkle of green onions.

Previously on In the Kitchen with Jackie:


    Hello! My name is Jackie Botto and I’ve been working with Di Bruno Bros. for over five years – styling, photographing and sometimes cooking with all the phenomenal ingredients they offer. CHEESE? Yes, mostly cheese. This blog is the space where I’ll share the things I make. No, I am not a professional chef, I’m a home chef! I cook for myself, my family, my friends – and then I take photos of what I make with the hope it inspires you to cook too.Want to share some tips or pairings of your own? Please leave a comment below!