photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yields: 4 servings. 

4 medium sweet potatoes from The Collard Patch
1 cup cooked cabbards (see below)
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
½ cup (1 stick) butter

Heat oven to 400°. Pierce each sweet potato several times with the tines of a fork. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove skin.

Place warm sweet potatoes into bowl and mash. Fold in warm cabbards and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brown butter by heating heavy-bottomed pot or skillet over medium heat. Cut butter into tablespoons into skillet. Heat, stirring frequently, until butter becomes foamy. When it is lightly brown and smells nutty and the foam has subsided, remove from heat immediately and set on a cool surface to stop further heating. Drizzle over colcannon at serving time. Serve with Brewmaster’s Malt Mustard alongside Johnston County ham.

For a real Southern St. Patty’s Day feast, pair this recipe with Wendy Perry’s Irish Soda Bread Cornbread.

Wendy’s Cabbards

Yields: about 6 quarts.

3-5 pounds chicken pieces for broth (dark meat preferred)
1 pound bacon (for drippings)
4 pounds collards from The Collard Patch
6 pounds cabbage (pointed-head, if possible)
Salt and pepper

Place chicken into large stockpot and add 2 gallons water. Bring to a full boil, then cut back to a low boil and cook about 1 hour, until chicken is fully cooked and fork-tender. Remove chicken for another use. While chicken is cooking, wash and roughly cut up the collards and cabbage. Return poultry stock to a full boil and add greens, pushing them into the broth to make room. Season with salt and pepper. When all greens are in the pot, cover and continue at a low boil for 1-1½ hours until tender, stirring occasionally.

While greens cook, fry bacon for drippings in a large cast iron skillet, saving the bacon for other recipes. Pour cooled drippings into a container. Once greens are cooked, in the same skillet, over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of drippings. Use tongs to place cabbards (with some broth) into the hot drippings until the skillet is full. As they cook, stir often to prevent sticking. If the broth evaporates and the cabbards need more cooking, ladle a bit of broth over them. Remove cabbards to containers to cool, and continue until all greens are cooked. Save the nutrient-rich pot liquor to sip or use as a soup base.

Tip: What are cabbards? Simple: cabbage plus collards. The cabbage sweetens the collards, and doesn’t cook down as much as collards do.

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Wendy Perry is a recipe developer, personal chef, and Franklin County native.