I grew up eating my Irish-born grandmother’s corned beef and cabbage, and must confess that I am not a fan of either the meat or the mushy cabbage. For me, this is a better alternative for St. Patrick’s Day and it’s vegetarian to boot. This is dish can be called “homey” or “comfort food”, but can easily be jazzed up serving it with something completely non-Irish like salsa or tabasco sauce.
Scrub 2 lbs. of potatoes and cut into cubes. Boil in salted water until soft. Drain and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, melt 6 T. butter (preferably unsalted) in a 12-inch skillet and then cook over very low heat until it is nicely browned. Pour off 1/4 C. of the butter and set side.
Cut the leaves off 2-3 leeks, then cut the shanks in half lengthwise and rinse. Chop the leeks finely to make 2 C.
Cut 1 cabbage in half and slice or shred one of the halves. You want about 4 C.
Saute the leeks in the butter, adding lots of black pepper plus salt to taste. When the leeks are tender, add the cabbage and continue sauteing.
Mash the potatoes in a bowl with 1/2 C. whole milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Wash 4-6 Kale leaves and then chop finely.
When the cabbage is tender and beginning to brown, add the Kale plus 1/4 C. vegetable broth to the pan and deglaze it with a wooden spatula. Cook another 2-3 minutes to reduce the broth.
Combine the potatoes and cabbage in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the reserved browned butter plus a generous helping of grated sharp cheddar cheese.