Irish Potatoes are some of the best! Irish Potato Champ is a traditional Irish mashed potato dish that includes scallions giving the recipe a sweet, spring flavor. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, and every other day too!
UPDATED: March 2019
I would have to say what I love most about Irish food is its honesty.
Many of the most well-known dishes consist of a mere handful of ingredients, are rustically prepared and yet deliver the most comforting satisfaction.
Irish Potato Champ is no exception.
Until I began to travel to Ireland I did not realize the wealth of natural food sources at their disposal.
Seafood such as salmon and mussels, meats including mutton, lamb and beef as well as a wealth of produce abound.
I’ve had beautiful meals in Ireland that are only topped by the charming company of the locals.
Boxty is a type of potato pancake.
Colcannon is a mashed potato dish that includes kale and scallions leaving the potatoes green in tint. The flavors are springy without any overbearing flavor of the kale.
Champ is a kissing cousin of Colcannon. Potatoes steamed and passed through a ricer to keep them light in texture.
These Irish potatoes are combined with scallions simmered in milk and a nice amount of butter (not too much). The flavor is sublime.
They have a slightly sweet flavor from the scallions steeped in the milk that tastes like fresh greens of spring.
Irish Potatoes – Rich in History
Like Colcannon, Champ has long roots in Irish history. These were very inexpensive recipes to make as the ingredients were able to be locally grown even in the worst of soil or colder conditions.
The filling Irish potatoes were a perfect choice during more trying financial times, pair with almost any available protein or may be enjoyed on their own.
In Northern Ireland the scallions are swapped out for peas for an equally delicious version.
Though I’m choosing to share this before St. Patrick’s Day, Irish Potato Champ mash is traditionally served at Halloween.
It often includes a coin wrapped in waxed paper and the lucky diner who finds it in their serving is said to have good luck for the next year!
Ingredients in Irish Potato Champ
One of the best things about this Irish potato recipe is its simplicity. No fancy ingredients and the flavor is fantastic.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Unsalted Butter
- Salt and Pepper
Traditionally when made in Ireland this Irish potato recipe would use a ‘floury potato’. The closest equivalent in the United States would be a Russet potato.
Loving Yukon Gold for their flavor and consistency, I’ve used them in this Irish Potato Champ recipe.
How to Make Irish Potato Champ – Step by Step:
- Steam the potatoes until cooked through. (NOTE: may also be boiled if preferred)
- While the potatoes cook, combine the milk and scallions in a saucepan and heat over medium-low for 5 minutes.
- When the potatoes are cooked, pass them through a ricer or traditional potato masher into bowl or back into the saucepan.
- Pour in the scallion-milk and 4-6 tablespoons of butter; stir to fully combine.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a pat of butter to each serving and serve hot!
What to Serve with Irish Potato Champ
This Irish potato recipe is fantastic with just about anything and all year long (though perfect for an authentic Irish St. Patrick’s Day dish).
Some favorite ideas include:
- Lemon Roast Chicken
- Salt & Pepper Roasted Chicken Thighs
- New York Strip Steak (or Portobello Mushroom ‘steaks’ if vegetarian)
- Bangers or Sausages
Irish Potato Champ
- 3 pounds (approximately 8 medium) Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled (if large, halve the potatoes)
- 1 ½ bunches Scallions (green spring onions) white and light green portions chopped
- ½ cup Milk
- 4-6 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter , room temperature
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Steam the potatoes until the center is cooked through (approximately 20 minutes). Alternatively the potatoes may be boiled just until soft, drained and returned to the heat to dry before processing them further.
- When cooked, mashed the potatoes. Preferred method of mashing is to put the potatoes through a potato ricer which keeps them light and airy. Alternatively a traditional masher may also be used though typically makes the potatoes more dense when mashed.
(While the potatoes cooking...) Combine the scallions and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture, along with 4-6 tablespoons of the butter (to taste; more butter will melt on the top when served) into the potatoes and stir in to fully combine. Salt and pepper as needed.
When serving, add small pats of butter (from the remaining 2 tablespoons) to the top of each serving. Serve hot.