Champ is a classic Irish potato side dish that's especially popular in and around Ulster. It is made from mashed potatoes, milk infused with green onions, butter, and chives.
Champ is a flavorful, creamy side dish that's similar to colcannon. Irish champ has a mild buttery, onion flavor that goes wonderfully with everything from soups to stews to roasts.
Also known as brúitín or poundies in some areas, Irish champ is an excellent side dish to serve on St. Patrick's Day. However, thanks to its hearty, creamy, comforting flavor and texture, you can enjoy it all year round.
While both champ and colcannon are potato dishes, there are a few key differences between the two. Colcannon is made with cabbage or kale while champ is made by flavoring milk with green onions, then mixing them into mashed potatoes. To finish the dish off, it's mixed with melted butter.
Both Irish champ and colcannon were traditionally enjoyed around Halloween, but both dishes are great any time of year.
Use starchy, floury potatoes to make Irish champ. Russets, Idaho, and Maris Piper are great options. Yukon golds are also fantastic potatoes for making champ. You can use any type of potato you would use for making mashed potatoes.
If you've ever made mashed potatoes before, whipping up Irish champ will be a breeze for you. Start by simmering the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes, or until they're fork-tender. Pour out the water, then cook the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes. This will help any remaining water to evaporate.
Pour the milk, green onions, salt, and pepper into a separate pot, and let the mixture simmer gently for 5 minutes. Don't let the milk come to a boil. Strain the green onions out and set them aside.
Mash the potatoes, adding the milk in bit by bit until the potatoes are creamy and reach your desired consistency. Mix in the chives and reserved spring onions, then add a little extra salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and make a small well in the center. Pour the melted butter into the well. Stir well, and serve.
Irish champ is a delicious side dish that goes with all sorts of main meals. It's wonderful with classic Irish dishes like Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage, but it's delicious with roast beef, pork, lamb, grilled salmon, or chicken.
You can swap the green onions out for leeks, parsley, garlic, or parsnips for a tasty twist on classic Irish champ.
For a vegan version, use plant milk and oil instead of milk and butter.
You can use either peeled or unpeeled potatoes, depending on your preferences.
Make sure to infuse the milk with the green onions. It makes a huge difference in flavor, so don't be tempted to skip this step!
Use high-quality butter. European butter like Kerrygold is perfect for champ.
Don't over-mash the potatoes otherwise they'll be gluey instead of creamy.
Let the champ cool, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Simmer the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes, until tender.
Drain the potatoes, then cook them in the same pan for 2 to 3 minutes, or until all the leftover water evaporates.
Add the milk, green onions, salt, and pepper to a pot.
Cook for 5 minutes. Strain the green onions out and set them aside.
Mash the potatoes. Pour in the milk bit by bit until the potatoes are creamy.
Stir in chives and reserved spring onions. Season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.
Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Make a small well in the center.
Pour the melted butter into the well. Stir well, and serve.
You can use skim milk for your champ if you'd prefer a lower-calorie option. Or for an ultra-rich, creamy champ, use heavy cream.