Countryside Near Tralee, County Kerry
Champ is a classic Irish dish dating from the time when the potato was the mainstay of the diet and creative housewives did all they could to eke out their meager provisions and to add a bit of variety. There are several similar dishes where mashed potatoes are enhanced with fresh green vegetables. When green onions or leeks are added it is called “Champ.” When instead, cabbage is used it is called “Colcannon.” This is also a good way to use up leftover mashed potaotes. Champ is often served at breakfast. A pile of champ is put on the plate, a well made in the center which is then filled with scrambled eggs.
3 or 4 potatoes, peeled and boiled
5 or 6 green onions or 1 small leek, well washed and chopped including the greens
About 1 cup of milk or half-and-half
½ stick of butter
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes until quite tender, drain and mash. While the potatoes are boiling, put the green onions or leeks and the butter in a small sauce pan with the milk and simmer until the onions or leeks are tender. Gradually whip this into the mashed potatoes until you have reached the desired consistency. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
There was a time when any well accoutered household had a large wooden tub with and dasher or pestle called a “Beetle”, which was used to mash boiled potatoes.
There was an old woman who lived in a lamp.
She had no room to beetle her champ.
She’s up with her beetle and broke the lamp,
and then she had room to beetle her champ.
Intersection in Tralee