Maureen: Tonight we are having roast pork and Irish champ, which is just another version of mashed potatoes.
Nicholas (8): You mean strange mashed potatoes.
Maureen: They’re not strange! I think they’re delicious.
Andrew (12): The roast pork is nice. It tastes like sausages.
Maureen: Well, it should, since sausages are made out of pork.
Andrew: The roast pork, yes.
Nicholas: OK! OK! I know what I want to say. Here it is, “To me, it’s good, but it needs some improvement.”
Maureen: Like what sort of improvements?
Nicholas: I haven’t thought of the improvements, but it needs some.
Maureen: What about the champ?
Andrew: The mash was OK, but I didn’t like it very much. I like regular mash better.
Nicholas: Nope. I did not like the champ at all.
Maureen: I could not disagree more. The champ was fantastic. You just didn’t like it because all the bits of green reminded you too much of salad, and we all know how you feel about that. I will definitely make the champ again. You might not eat it, but I will.
Cook’s Notes: I really liked the pork, but some of the recipe just didn’t work. Jamie wants you to rest it on a bed of chopped red onions. He says to use a “snug-fitting roasting tray.” What in the world does that mean? I’ve got two roasting trays: big and bigger. I went for the big one, and put the chopped onions on the bottom. He warns you that the chopped onions will burn if you don’t use the snug tray, and boy, did my onions burn. I’m also dubious that chopping them is a good idea. Surely if you just sliced them, they wouldn’t burn as quickly as the small pieces. Needless to say, given the burnt onion problem, I didn’t get any gravy out of it.
Also, this recipe calls for A LOT of cider vinegar. Cider vinegar, by the way, is the ingredient of choice in this book, so stock up on some good stuff now because you will be using a lot of it. The kitchen still smells of cider vinegar two days later, so I’m not entirely sure that it works. But maybe you’ll have a different opinion.