Potato mash can be a fantastic side dish for so many different meals. Mash can be served as a savoury snack or an incredibly filling lunchbox meal – it can also be used to top a huge range of pie recipes. Try adding it to a cottage pie, a shepherd’s pie or sausage & leek mash pie! It’s also great for reheating as a base for eggs benedict.
How to Make the Perfect Mash
The key to making mashed potatoes is to ensure that they are cooked properly, and have the right consistency to mash easily. This means using cold water and boiling them for just the right amount of time. The potatoes need to cook thoroughly and evenly to avoid the outsides becoming mushy, but leaving the middle hard. A good tip is to peel the potatoes and chop them into large chunks.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and place in a bowl to cool. This is important because the hot water will cause them to soak up any excess starch and leave them with a gluey texture. It’s also a good idea to rinse the potatoes well and dry them in a clean colander before you mash them.
You can mash the boiled potatoes using either a hand masher or a potato ricer for creamy, smooth results. A stand mixer or food processor will work too, but they can break down the starches in the potato and result in a gluey mash.
Add a little butter: You might be thinking that this is a waste of fat, but it does help to give the potatoes a creamy consistency. A little salted butter (or unsalted if you’re vegan) will add an extra layer of flavour.
Do Ahead: The recipe below will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, and can be reheated in the microwave as needed. When you’re ready to serve, mash and season as usual, adding a splash of milk or stock to thin out.
If you’re not serving the mash straight away, reheat it on medium heat until warmed through and just slightly thickened. If it’s too soft, add a bit more of the butter and milk to loosen it up.
Use Any Potato You Like: The choice is yours – Yukon Golds and Russets are the classics for making mash, as are any other potatoes you like the taste of. For a different twist, try a mash made with roasted garlic and chives or grated cheese – if you prefer yours a little more traditional, grate mature Cheddar over the top before cooking it in an oven.
For a lighter mash, skip the cream and use a combination of butter and half-and-half. The fat will help the potatoes reheat better, and it will help them to absorb more of the milk or cream.
Alternatively, you can add any of your favourite herbs or spices to the mix. A grating of fresh horseradish, a sprinkle of wholegrain mustard or a handful of finely chopped chives can all add some welcome kick to the mash.