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Champ

This is how Julie’s Granny served champ, with a great big lump of Irish butter in the middle!

Irish Champ – serves 4 as a side or 2 on it’s own

  • 700g potatoes – it helps if they are roughly the same size
  • salt and white pepper (no black pepper please)
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 50g butter (plus extra to serve)

Put the potatoes (unpeeled) in a pot and cover with cold water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer until completely tender (usually about 20 minutes but keep checking and don’t let them go to mush).

Heat the milk with the scallions for about 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and peel while still hot. If you have a potato ricer you could use that but we tend to use a standard masher.

Beat the butter into the mashed potato with a wooden spoon, then stir in the warm milk and scallions. Season well with salt and white pepper.

Serve the potatoes in a warm bowl. Make a dip in the middle with the back of a spoon and add a lump of good quality (preferably Irish) salted butter.

 

 

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This week we went to Oddbins in Blackrock village while walking home from work in the really bad snow. We unfairly put the staff under pressure, and the poor shop assistant even gave us a wine out of her Christmas box – thanks a mill!

We also don’t usually chill our reds in snow before drinking, but the photo opportunity, and the abundant snow in Dublin, begged for this photo.

To the wine: classically new world in that the fruit is wonderfully ripe with a little lift from slightly higher alcohol (compared to Burgundy, where Pinot Noir finds its greatest expression). The aromas and flavours are predominately cherries and summer berries and it has a nice juiciness and medium weight. The best thing is the balance and freshness which makes this wine effortless to drink and yet interesting and flavoursome.

Don’t serve with a big, meaty stew, rather this wine would be great with lighter meats, like Christmas turkey and ham .. the shop assistant would have had a nice wine for the big day ahead (now I feel guilty). It also went particularly well with barbecued sausages and champ; see right.

We paid €14.99 but don’t rush out as we think Oddbins may not have this in stock again until after Christmas.


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