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Colcannon Gnocchi with Brown Butter



2 pounds potatoes, skins scrubbed

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup shredded cabbage

12 cloves garlic, shredded

2 tablespoons amber ale

3 tablespoons salt

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

3-4 swipes nutmeg, on microplane

½ teaspoon white pepper

To Assemble

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups gnocchi

½ lemon

1-2 pieces Cashel Blue Cheese*

*An Irish cheddar would also be very nice.


“I was wracking my brain to come up with an alternative to shepherd’s pie.” solution: Transforming the mixture into gnocchi, tossing the soft dumplings in warm, nutty-flavored brown butter and adding crumbled blue cheese for tang.”


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes on sheet tray in preheated oven and cook until tender, about 1 to 1½ hours.
  3. While potatoes cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in sauté pan. Once butter melts, add cabbage and garlic. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Deglaze with beer and cook additional 2 minutes. Set aside to cool until potatoes are done.
  4. When potatoes are done, cool to room temperature, then peel and shred into large bowl with food processor attachment or food mill.
  5. Mix cabbage mixture with potatoes. Add salt.
  6. Make well in center of potato/cabbage mixture and sprinkle with flour, using all flour. Place egg and yolks in center of well and, using fork, stir into flour and potatoes (just like making pasta). Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading
    gently until ball forms. Knead gently another 4 minutes, until ball is dry to touch.
  7. Bring large pot of salted water to boil and generously grease medium bowl with olive oil.
  8. Roll baseball-sized ball of dough into ¾-inch diameter dowels and cut dowels into 1-inch long pieces. Roll into long cylinders, pinch with fingers, then cut with pastry scraper into small pillows.
  9. Drop pieces into boiling water and cook about 1 minute, until floating. Remove with slotted spoon to oiled bowl.
  10. Repeat process with remaining dough. Note: Gnocchi can be made ahead. Just place cooked gnocchi immediately in ice bath. Once cool, strain into oil-greased bowl.

To Assemble

  1. Place large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add butter. When butter begins to brown, after about 2 minutes, add salt. Increase heat to high and add gnocchi.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until gnocchi have heated through, about 1½ minutes.
  3. Squeeze lemon over gnocchi and crumble blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Beer pairing

River Sunset Amber Ale, a deep auburn ale with a rich, malt flavor. Look for flavors that are warm and comforting, not super-strong, you don’t want to overpower the dish.

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