The golden rule for making perfect mashed potatoes is to choose the right variety of potatoes. Usually called floury potatoes they have a drier more starchy flesh which after boiling will produce a lovely fluffy mash. Some of the most popular floury potatoes are Desiree, Maris Piper and King Edwards. It’s also essential not to overcook the potatoes or they will become water logged – if this does happen return the drained potatoes to the pan and heat very gently, shaking the pan occasionally until the excess moisture has evaporated. You can add whatever flavourings you like to mashed potatoes, depending on how you’re feeling. Try grated cheddar cheese mixed through, spring onions, garlic or pesto for various different meals. To get super smooth mashed potatoes you can use a ricer. Like a huge garlic crusher this handy kitchen gadget pushes the potatoes through tiny holes to create a velvety finish. If you don’t have one a normal masher will give great results too, just make sure to get all the lumps out which is easiest with soft, floury potatoes as mentioned above.
- 900g floury potatoes, peeled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50g butter
- 2-4tbsp hot milk
Cut the peeled potatoes into even-sized chunks and cook in a large pan of salted boiling water for 10-15 mins until just tender. Drain the potatoes into a large colander and leave for 3-4 mins.
Return the potatoes to the pan with the butter and 2 tbsp of the hot milk. Mash thoroughly until smooth, adding a little more hot milk for a softer mash. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Flavour your basic mash with grated cheese, smooth or wholegrain mustard, horseradish sauce or soured cream, if you like.