For the pastry cheese straws:
- 175g rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 50g mature cheddar, finely grated
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices McGeough’s air-dried pork or Parma ham
For the colcannon soup:
- 50g dried cured streaky bacon, diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 potato, finely diced
- 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 700ml vegetable stock
- 200g Savoy cabbage, thick stalks removed and shredded
- 150ml cream
- 25g butter, diced
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
- To make the cheese straws, place the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle over the cheddar in an even layer. Fold in half widthways to enclose the cheese layer completely and roll out again to its original size, using a little extra flour if necessary. Brush all over with the beaten egg and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
- Take the chilled cheese pastry and cut it into 10cm lengths, each 1cm wide. Hold the ends of each strip between your fingers and twist the ends in opposite directions. Arrange the twisted strips on non-stick baking sheets and season. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- To prepare the crispy air-dried pork, arrange on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Roast in the oven for five to 10 minutes until crispy, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- In the meantime, prepare the colcannon soup. Heat a large pan and sauté the bacon over a medium to high heat for two minutes. Stir in the onion, potato and leek, then cover with a lid and sweat over a medium heat for five minutes until well softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then add the cabbage and season to taste. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the cabbage has softened.
- Remove from the heat and blitz until it reaches a smooth consistency. Stir in the cream and butter. Check the seasoning and keep warm until needed.
- Ladle the colcannon soup into cappuccino cups or warmed serving bowls and arrange a cheese straw to the side and top with the crispy air-dried pork.
Recipe: Kevin Dundon
Photography: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke
For more Kevin Dundon recipes, click here.
The secret of this soup is not to overcook the cabbage.