As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

Irish Champ–Live!

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go on Good Day Austin again for work. I was so inspired by the champ I had at New York’s Spotted Pig in February, that I decided to make it myself and share it.  And St. Patties Day is only a week away!

The recipe is based on Irish Champ from Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages by Anne Mendelson. (One of my favorite books, by the way!)

Here is the link to watch the video clip.

Dirt--the sign of freshness! (spring onions from Greengate Farms)

5-6 large russet or baking-type potatoes
2-3 small leeks or medium spring onions OR 6 large scallions, cleaned and trimmed; include an inch or two of the green part (more for scallions)
2 cups whole milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4-8 tablespoons of butter, cut into chunks

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. While they are cooking, cut the leeks/scallions in thin slices. Put them in a small saucepan, pour in milk, and bring to simmer. Cook, uncovered, until tender 10 – 15 minutes (a little less for scallions). Strain off milk, return it to pan, and keep it warm, reserving the leeks/scallions separately.
Drain cooked potatoes and put them in a large, deep bowl and start mashing with a wooden spoon or potato masher.
Mash in drained leeks/scallions while adding as much of the hot seasoned milk as the potatoes will absorb without getting soupy (the amount will vary depending on the starchiness of the potatoes). Some lumps are good. Mix in butter.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve as hot as possible.


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