Traditional Irish Champ
Only Prepared not quite So Traditional...
- 2 lbs. of a proper Irish potato like
Rooster or Kerr's Pink
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 spring onions, sliced thin
- 3 tbsp. butter
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat your grill to 350°F and place your scrubbed potatoes onto the warming rack to bake. (Now would also be a great time to bake your Irish Cream Cheesecake)
After 45 minutes they should be nice and tender, but you can certainly go up to an hour if needed. To test the doneness of your potato, poke it with a fork, if the fork meets no resistance, or the potato slides right off if lifted off the rack, you’re good to go.
When the potatoes are done, remove as much of the skin as possible and toss them into a sturdy bowl, keep them warm. On your stove or side burner, over medium low heat, simmer the milk, 1 tbsp. of the butter and the green onions until they are warm. Do not scorch the milk.
Mash the potatoes with milk mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Make a well in the centre of your potatoes and place the remaining butter in there to melt. Serve piping hot, with extra butter.
The Irish know their potatoes. That is a fact. Sure they originated in southern Peru and were brought to most of Europe by the Spaniards in the mid 16th century, but the Irish, they saw the potential of the potato and turned it into an art form.
Champ is something that many, including my Grandfather, grew up eating. Often the only thing served for a meal, Champ was a mixture of mashed potatoes, spring onions (a.k.a. chives and green onions) milk and a lot of butter. Champ was also served with a fried egg, like Bubble and Squeak often was, and some enjoy sausages and other meats with it.