Champ

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Champ is a traditional Irish dish. It is one of those recipes that everybody believes their way is the only way to make it. So this is, basically, one of the many versions of champ. It is simple and inexpensive to produce. In some areas the dish is also called “poundies”. Champ can be eaten on its own or just as a potato dish with boiled ham or bacon. You can serve it with a boiled bacon collar, just spooned over with its cooking liquor and served with English mustard. The word champ has also been adopted into the popular Hiberno-English phrases, to be “as thick as champ”, meaning to be stupid, and to be “as ignorant as champ at a wedding”, meaning to be uncultured or boorish (champ being a common everyday dish, not one befitting a banquet celebration).

Ingredients:

150 ml milk

225 g spring onions, sliced

450 – 675 g potatoes, peeled and quartered

salt and freshly ground white pepper

a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

100 – 175 g unsalted butter

champ

Preparation:

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 20 – 25 minutes depending on size. Drain off all water and replace the lid. Shake the pan vigorously which will start to break the potatoes. Mash them throughout. Cover it with the lid and leave on the side.

Bring the milk to the simmer with the spring onions. Add this to the mash potatoes and season with salt and ground white pepper. Add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, if you like.  Add half the butter to give a creamier texture. Mix it together.

Spoon the potatoes into a bowl and make a well in the middle. The remaining butter can now be sat in the centre. The champ is ready to serve.