Champ is simplicity itself to make and is the greatest comfort food imaginable – except maybe for its close relative, Colcannon.
This is food for a cold winter’s day, a dish to nurse a cold or to mend a broken heart – whatever ails you will not seem so bad when you tuck into a great bowlful of Champ.
It is also a very good accompaniment for many dishes, especially for any grilled (broiled) meat. This recipe is the exact version used to make the (short lived!) bowl of Champ pictured here.
It’s so simple it barely counts as a recipe!
Traditional Champ Recipe
- 2 lbs (0.9kg) potatoes, or about 4-6 large potatoes (‘old’ potatoes or russet potatoes are best, waxy potatoes won’t do)
- ½ cup ( 4 fl oz, 125 ml) milk
- 1 stick (4oz, 120g) butter, divided into two parts
- 5-6 scallions (green onions), chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh Parsley
Yes, I know it is a lot of butter, but you really cannot skimp with champ!
Peel and boil the potatoes until they are quite soft.
When the potatoes are done, drain and return the saucepan, with the drained potatoes in, to a low burner, leaving the lid off so that any excess moisture can evaporate. When they are perfectly dry, add the milk to the saucepan along with half the butter and the chopped scallions. Allow the milk to warm but not boil – it is about right when the butter has fully melted into it and it starting to steam.
With a potato masher or a fork mash the potatoes thoroughly into the butter/milk mixture. Do NOT pass through a ricer or, worse, beat in a mixer as it will make the potatoes gluey and disgusting.
Mix the scallions thoroughly through the mashed potato. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Before serving sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Most importantly, make a well in the centre of the potato in each serving and put a good pat of butter in it to melt.
Eat by dipping forkfuls of potato into the melting well of butter. The world will seem a better place.
Growing up in Sligo I never heard it called “champ” only mash or amongst the older people “bruisie”. It was only much later when Paul Rankin came along that champ started appearing everywhere