Champ is a simple warming dish which is cheap, easy to produce and very filling. An old tradition …a silver sixpenny piece wrapped in greaseproof paper would be buried in the champ. To find it in your portion was to bring good luck for a year – quite apart from the temporary wealth!
Ingredients (serves four)
8 medium potatos, peeled
small bunch of scallions (spring onions)
1/4 pt/125ml/1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper
knob of butter per person
The best way to prepare the potatoes is to cook them in a steamer and then pass them through a food mill. Alternatively, boil until soft but not mushy, drain and return them to the heat to dry somewhat before mashing. In any case keep hot. Chop the scallions finely, both green and white parts, and cook for 5 minutes in the milk. Beat this mixture into the mashed potatoes until smoooth and fluffy, season to taste and serve a large mound on each plate with a good knob of butter melting into the top. Each forkful is dipped into the melted butter as it is eaten. Very good with a glass of cold milk.
Colcannon is made in much the same way as champ, but with the addition of cabbage. In parts of the country white cabbage is always used. In any case, shred and chop a small cabbage (discard the stump) and cook until tender. Beat into the potato mixture and serve as above.