Vegan Colcannon with Garlic Confit

Despite being a little bit Irish, I haven’t had much Irish food. I even visited Dublin for a couple of days about ten years ago, but I got food poisoning after my first meal there and didn’t eat a thing the rest of my stay. It was a real shame. So this year for St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to explore a dish with Irish roots instead of dying a milkshake green or whatever. I landed on colcannon, which is basically mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale mixed into them. Mashed potatoes are and have always been my jam. Like, I’ll take a scoop of mashed potatoes over fries any day. So this seemed like a no brainer.

My research on colcannon told me that most people keep colcannon very simple. Typically, it’s only four ingredients: potatoes, milk, butter, and cabbage/kale. So to justify putting another colcannon recipe out there, I decided to veganize it. But since so much of the flavor comes from rich dairy products, I needed a way to spice my vegan version up. Enter, garlic confit. My basic idea was to use the garlic enriched oil from my confit to replace butter. And my god, what a dream. I may never make mashed potatoes any other way.

But the thing is, garlic confit seems like a lot of work

I know. I thought the same thing. But it’s actually really easy to make. And such a flavor powerhouse. It’s similar to roasted garlic, which I could eat on pretty much anything. To make confit garlic, you really just need to peel a bunch of garlic and simmer it in oil until it’s tender and golden brown. You can include herbs or chiles to enhance the flavor even more if you’d like. I obviously opted for both, adding a few sprigs of thyme and about 1/8 tsp of red chili flakes. What’s wonderful is that you don’t even need to watch the pot. I mean, don’t leave the house or anything. You don’t want to burn it down. But I totally set it up and went and did something else while it cooked and you can, too.

This time around, I made a small batch of garlic confit. It lasts for ages, though. So next time you’d better believe I’ll be making a huge batch and putting it on literally everything. I may even do a separate recipe post for it. Because it’s just that good.

Do I need any special equipment?

Nah, not really. I used a potato ricer, but it’s not essential. Up until recently, though, I used my stand mixer to make mashed potatoes. I was always happy with the results, though the consistency was admittedly less even. So if you have a potato ricer or masher, use that. If not, a stand or hand mixer will do just fine. Ok, now let’s get down to business.

An overhead shot of vegan colcannon with garlic confit. The shot also features some basic ingredients like Yukon gold potatoes and dinosaur kale.
Garlic olive oil being drizzled onto a heaping plan of vegan colcannon.
Close up of vegan colcannon with garlic confit.
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Vegan Colcannon with Garlic Confit

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword colcannon, garlic confit, kale salad, mashed potatoes, vegan colcannon
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Garlic Confit

  • 1/2 cup Garlic cloves (Peeled and whole)
  • 1 cup Olive oil
  • 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 1/8 tsp Red chili flakes

Colcannon

  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (Peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 bunch Dinosaur/Lacinto kale (Stemmed and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Oat milk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (Plus more for your potato water)
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper (Freshly ground)

Instructions

  • Make the garlic confit. To do this, combine the garlic, olive oil, thyme and red chili flakes in a saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender and golden brown. When it's done, transfer it all to a jar (oil, too – don't you dare toss it).
  • Boil the peeled and chopped potatoes in a medium saucepan with salted water for about 10-20 minutes or until fork tender (the smaller you chop your potatoes, the less time this will take). Drain in a collander when done.
  • While the potatoes cook, add 1 tbsp of garlic oil from your confit to a pan. Heat on medium for a few seconds and then add the kale. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often, until the kale goes limp and releases its water.
  • Rice or mash the potatoes into a medium sized bowl. Then add the cooked kale, 1/4 cup oat milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 2 tbsp garlic oil from the confit, and a bunch of confit garlic cloves (I threw like 7 in there but use your judgement here). Mix to combine with a large spoon. Taste test and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • To serve, top with more confit garlic!

Whether you make this for St. Patrick’s Day or just dinner, I hope you love it! As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. I always love hearing from you. Oh, and if you have extra garlic confit left over, you’re welcome. It’ll keep in a jar for quite some time.

For more decadent savory dishes, give these herbed goat cheese soufflés a go!

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