Seasonal local food recipe No.153: Irish champ

Potatoes and spring onions are the principal ingredients of this traditional Northern Ireland dish. This version comes from Irish cook Ita on She says: “Great on its own, served steaming hot with extra butter which will melt through it. But it’s also the perfect side dish for good quality sausages.”

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

1kg (2 1/4 lb) potatoes, peeled and halved
250ml (8 fl oz) milk
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
50g (2 oz) butter
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place potatoes into large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain well. Return to very low heat and allow the potatoes to dry out for a few minutes. (It helps if you place a clean tea towel over the potatoes to absorb any remaining moisture.) Meanwhile, heat the milk and spring onions gently in a saucepan until warm.

Mash the potatoes, salt and butter until smooth. Stir in the milk and spring onion until evenly mixed. Season with black pepper. Serve piping hot in bowls. Hollow out the centre to hold a big knob of extra butter.

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