Pressure Cooker Champ (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions)

Irish and potatoes – they just go together. Champ is an Irish mash of spuds and spring onions. I serve it on St. Patrick’s day – the perfect starchy side dish with corned beef or lamb stew.

When I bought my second electric pressure cooker, my wife asked “What, did the other one break?” I mumbled an excuse about reviewing it for the blog. I bought it because I liked the look of the stainless steel insert, and I felt guilty about the extravagance. But, now that I have two cookers, I can’t imagine having only one – I use the second cooker for side dishes all the time.

Like, say, champ. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?)

Most champ recipes work like traditional mashed potatoes – use the pressure cooker to boil the potatoes, drain, then mash with the milk, butter, and green onions.

But I saw online hints about a one-pot mashed potato recipe – potatoes with a small amount of milk. No draining, no separate heating of the milk, butter, and onions. But I couldn’t find details, and I wasn’t sure if a no-boiling method would work. It was time for recipe testing.

I made two batches of champ, side by side. One was the traditional way – boil, drain, mash. The other followed the vegetable technique from Modernist Cuisine at Home – melt the butter, toss the vegetables to coat, add a little liquid (in this case, the milk), and pressure cook everything at once.

When I was done, the traditional way looked great – fluffy mashed potatoes, with flecks of green onion. And it tasted good, too – like mashed potatoes with green onions mixed in.

When I opened the pot, The Modernist approach looked like a train wreck. The milk had curdled under pressure. I was sure I was doomed.

I forged ahead and mashed the potatoes, curds and all. The curds melted into the potatoes, and the end result looked fine. How did it taste? Better than the traditional approach. There was a stronger potato flavor to the mash. Even better, the one pot potatoes cooked quicker, took less steps, and there was only the one pot to clean up. We have a new mashed potato champion!

No pressure cooker? No worries. See the Notes section for stovetop instructions.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Champ (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions)


Inspired by: Modernist Cuisine at Home, Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet

Cooking time: 6 minutes

Equipment:

  • Pressure Cooker (I used my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 4 green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Directions:

1. Prep the potatoes
Melt the butter over medium heat in the pressure cooker pot. As soon as the butter stops foaming, add the potatoes and green onions. Sprinkle with the salt and toss to coat with the butter. Pour the milk into the pot, and stir.

2. Pressure cook the potatoes
Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it to high pressure, and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes ( 7 minutes in an electric PC). Quick release the pressure, then open the lid away from you. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, adding a little more milk if they’re too thick. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Notes:

  • For regular mashed potatoes, skip the green onions. The rest of the recipe works the same.
  • No pressure cooker? Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes can be pierced by the tip of a paring knife, about 10 minutes, then drain. While the potatoes are boiling, put the butter, milk, and green onions in a small saucepan, and simmer over medium heat until the butter melts. Put the drained potatoes back in the large saucepan, pour the milk, butter, and green onions in, and mash. Add more milk if the potatoes are too thick, and taste for salt.
  • A toast for St. Patrick’s day: May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Pressure Cooker Roasted Sweet Potato Puree
Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Click here for my other pressure cooker recipes.

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21 Comments

  1. Barbara @ Pressure Cooking Tod /

    Sounds like a recipe I should try soon. Fun that you bought the Instant Pot. How does it stack up?

  2. I like the Instant-Pot. The stainless insert is a nice feature- I can throw it in the dishwasher without feeling like I’m ruining it. And I like the lid/gasket assembly on the instant-pot; it’s easy to take the gasket out and clean it.

    The downside are the controls. They have all sorts of automatic modes that I never use, and “pressure cook on high for a specific length of time” mode is not clearly marked on the panel. Now that I know how to use it, it’s fine, but I have a hard time explaining it to my wife and kids when they want to cook something.

  3. TheIngredientList /

    Hey, Mike – I linked to your Champ recipe on my St. Patrick’s day special edition. Took a deep dive into the differences between the four most common varieties of potato, which was pretty fun. http://theingredientlist.com/blog/2013/3/17/four-potatoes-and-how-to-use-them-a-st-patricks-day-special

  4. Thanks, Charlie!

    And, I’m enjoying your posts – keep up the good work.

  5. TheIngredientList /

    Thanks so much, Mike!

  6. Noreen /

    I made them without the green onions and they were amazing!! Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!!

  7. You’re welcome – I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  8. Chris Lukowski /

    Ever try this with the skins on?

  9. No. should work fine, though – like smashed redskin potatoes.

  10. One green onionless evening, I substituted a whole bulb of garlic. Behold: a new family favourite–pressure cooked garlic mashed potatoes, Dad Cooks Dinner-style. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. What a great recipe, Mike! Because I had some raw cabbage left over from St. Patrick’s day, I chopped it up and sautéed it with the onions, added a little chopped garlic (based on Jesse’s comment) and then added the potatoes and milk (I used 1 cup because I thought I probably had more than 2 lbs. of potatoes and had added the cabbage.) Mmmm mmmm good! Love your blog–turns out I live not far from you in the Home of Twins Days 🙂

    • Great ideas – I love mashed potatoes and cabbage. (And – I’m amazed how many people go on the World Wide Web…and find me in Ohio!)

  12. Great recipe, thank you.
    I made the plain potato mash, but added sliced cabbage to it.
    I cooked some bacon , thinly sliced, crisply cooked, then mixed this thru.
    Quick, easy version of Colcannon.

    No quantities, sorry, just used what I thought was enough

  13. Mine got brown almost burned on the bottom when I made a double batch. They tasted terrific but I am still scrubbing off the bottom of the instant pot insert. Any ideas?

    • Hmm…haven’t seen that happen, but my guess is the extra potatoes make it take longer to come up to pressure – I think the milk is burning. Instead of doubling the milk, stir 3/4 cup water into the potatoes, then pour the 3/4 cup milk on top (and don’t stir). Then lock the lid. If you try this, let me know how it goes…

      • It’s happened to me-especially when I use my induction burner instead of gas. I’ve learned to bring the pot to pressure at a lower temperature, as the put otherwise simply gets too hot, too fast.

  14. These are my go to Thanksgiving Day mashed potatoes. Sometimes I leave out the scallions if there are going to be kids at the table. Love them.

  15. I am a mashed potatoe fan, but can’t stand the traditional method of peel, cube, boil, drain, add milk and such, then mash. Just too lazy! Tried this with small Yukon Gold potatoes cubed, skin on. Skipped the green onion (didn’t have) but coated with onion and garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Dang! I will never use instant potatoes again! They came out pefect and eliminated all of the babysitting/much more efficient compared to the traditional method. Thanks for posting!

  16. Shauneen /

    Add flour to any left over mash, mix well, roll out to about a 6mm round, cut into quarters and cook on a hot griddle on both sides for potato bread.

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