Serves 4-6
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An elevated mashed potato, paired with brown butter, also known in France as beurre noisette – a single-ingredient and transformative sauce that’ll add that oomph to every simple and homely dish, such as this.

This recipe is featured in Nigella Lawson’s new BBC show which focuses on her favourite recipes for home-cooking. Nigella’s Eat, Cook, Repeat, premieres in Singapore on Monday, 16th August at 7.00pm, on StarHub channel 432 and BBC Player.


  • 1-1.25 kg Kerr’s Pink, Golden Wonder or Rooster potatoes, preferably of a uniform size
  • 200 g kale (weight once stripped from stems – approx. 300 – 400 g if you’re buying it on stems)
  • 250 ml full-fat milk
  • 4 spring onions
  • 150 g unsalted butter

Scrub any mud off the potatoes and put them whole into a large pan–I use one of 26 cm diameter–of salted cold water and bring to the boil.


Without knowing what size potatoes you’re using, it’s hard to be precise about how long they’ll take to cook: smaller potatoes will take around 40 mins; larger ones will take around 1 hr. At any rate, cook, at a robust simmer (checking that the pan isn’t boiling dry, or that the water isn’t bubbling so fiercely the potatoes break into pieces) with the lid partially on, until the potatoes feel good and tender when you pierce them gently with a fork.


While the potatoes are cooking, strip the kale from the stems, and then tear into small pieces; even if you buy kale that’s ready chopped, you’ll still need to go through it to remove any tough bits of stem.


Cook the kale in a small amount of salted boiling water until it’s soft–this should take around 5 mins–and then drain. When you can handle it without burning yourself, squeeze out the excess water and put the kale back in the hot pan, cover the pan to keep it warm, and leave to one side for now. Finely slice the spring onions–I like to use most of the green part as well as the white–and leave to one side for now, too.


Once your potatoes are tender, take them out of the pan gently (draining them in a colander may make them disintegrate, and get waterlogged) and place on a large board. Empty out the pan and, remembering it’s still hot, carefully give it a quick wipe with kitchen paper. Put it back on the still-warm, turned off hob and return the potatoes to the pan to dry out for a couple of minutes.


Mash the potatoes by whichever method you prefer. I like the texture from the skins, so I wouldn’t use a potato ricer. I mash straight in the pan, so I warm the milk in a jug in the microwave, pour it into the potatoes, and set to with a masher. Whatever you do, don’t use a stick blender or you’ll turn them to glue. When you’ve finished mashing them, fold in the cooked kale, and taste for seasoning. Put the lid on so that it all stays hot while you make the brown butter and warm a serving dish.


Put a small heatproof jug by the hob. Cut the butter into slabs, the better for melting, and duly melt it in a heavy-based saucepan–I use one 18 cm indiameter and 8 cm deep–over gentle heat. Once the butter’s melted, turn the heat to medium, and carryon cooking, swirling the pan regularly, until the butter starts to turn a deep golden brown, with dark speckles at the bottom of the pan. Once it’s toasty and hazelnutty, at around 7 mins, remove the pan from the heat, and add the sliced spring onions, which will make the brown butter sizzle furiously.


Pour two-thirds of this into the potato pan and the rest into your little jug. Beat the brown butter into the colcannon and scrape into your warmed bowl, making swirls in the top of the colcannon with your spatula or spoon. Pour the remaining brown butter and spring onions on top and take to the table, in blissful anticipation.

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