Make the perfect mash

Ingredients

  • Large floury potatoes
  • Salted butter (whey butter for preference)
  • Double cream or whole milk – depending on how rich you like your mash (and your cholesterol!!)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Other flavourings if desired – e.g. grain mustard, fresh soft herbs such as parsley, dill or chive, cheese, scallion etc

 Method

  1. This is a lengthy process but the cooking and scooping out of the potato can be done a day ahead if desired.
  2. The trick is to bake the potatoes in their jackets instead of the usual peeling and boiling method. This process gives you a dry potato base with an intense potato flavour. Being drier means you can add more butter and milk or cream for a rich, indulgent mash.
  3. Potato selection is all important. Personally I like to use a floury potato such as Maris, Marquis, King Edward, Vivaldi, Mayan Gold (my favourite a Peruvian Phureja type), Russet or for a splash of colour Red Emmalie. Although some chefs prefer (and swear by) a waxy variety. Ah well, each to their own.
  4. Once you have chosen your variety select larger tubers to get the best yield.
  5. Bake the potatoes in their jackets for approximately 35 -50 minutes depending on tuber size. Once cooked cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. N.B. you will need to work quickly as you really want to do this part while the potatoes are still hot (rubber gloves might be an idea)
  6. Discard the skins or use for loaded jacket skins or (if you’re feeling particularly cheffy) dehydrate and blitz in a food processor to make potato ‘dust’ as a seasoning for soups, salads and other potato dishes
  7. Once you have scooped out the flesh push through a fine sieve (a large drum sieve is the best if you have one) with the back of a spoon or pastry scraper, or use a potato ricer. At this point you can cover the potato and refrigerate to use later
  8. Meanwhile melt the milk or cream and butter together in a pan or bowl in a microwave. You want this mix to be hot so that the potato absorbs it easier.
  9. Place the potato in a thick bottom pan whilst still hot (if you are using from the fridge heat up gently ready to take the butter and cream) then slowly add the hot milk/cream and butter mixture to desired texture. I have deliberately not given measurements as some like a very loose (pomme puree style) whilst others like a firmer, ‘soak up the gravy’ version.
  10. Add any additions if using, Check the seasoning and serve piping hot.