I found it a bit amusing this past week when my oldest son asked “What are you?”. I instantly thought to myself, and at first did not know how to respond. While growing up ,and being as curious as my son was, I remember asking my parents that same question. I often joke to this day that my dad said we were related to Chief Sitting Bull, and that basically we were part everything. Name the country, and that was his response. So you can see that I was uncertain how to respond. After all, I really did not want him going into school the following day and reporting back to his teacher that he was part everything. What he did go back with was that we were part Irish, French, and English. Yes, European decent, not anything related to American Indian.
After thinking about being Irish, I immediately thought of the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day. The annual feast celebrating Saint Patrick. You know that is why you celebrate and belly up to a bar, drinking several pints of delicious beer, and consume generous portions of corn beef and cabbage, right?
So with this feast nearing, I thought that I did not want to wait any longer, and I really wanted to make some Irish dish, and this past weekend, my wife and I had a wonderful beef stew on a bed of Irish Champ.
What is Irish champ anyway? If you have never tried it, nor heard of it, it is basically delicious mashed potatoes, mixed with milk or cream, butter, and a bunch of thinly sliced green onions. So the next time you are looking to make some mashed potatoes, give this recipe a try, and make an attempt to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.
- 3 lbs of potatoes (Russet, Yukon Gold, or Red), peeled, and quartered
- 1 cup of a heavier milk such as 2%, or a combination of skim and heavy cream
- 1 bunch of scallions (green onions), roots removed, and thinly sliced
- 6 tbsp of unsalted butter
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Begin by choosing your potato. I went with a simple russet as they were on sale this past week. If you want to keep the skin on, feel free, and trust me, I love a rustic mashed potato like that, however I went with removing the skin, quartering, and boiling them in a pot of water for about 25 minutes, or until they were fork tender.
About 15 minutes in, add the milk, scallions, and about four tablespoons of the butter to a saucepan, only to warm it up. No need for boiling.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain, and place them back in the pot on the stove, on low heat, to remove any excess water.
Get your masher out, and start mashing your potatoes, adding in the milk mixture, and mash until you have your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Add to your serving plate as a nice bed for a beef roast, or add to a small bowl and make a nice pool in the middle, adding a tablespoon of butter.
The creaminess and additions of the scallions really make these great Irish potatoes. Question is, what will you be cooking on Saint Patrick’s Day?