Mashed potatoes are delicious on their own. In that case, adding sauteed leeks brings the creamy potatoes to a new level. This leek mash recipe is super easy and adds to your 5-a-day.
What is Mashed Potato?
Mashed potato, more commonly known as mash, is made by mixing cooked potatoes with fat to create a rich, delicious side dish often served with meat and vegetables. One of the earliest recipes for mash appeared in 1747 in Hannah Glasse’s “The Art of Cookery,” where she mashed potatoes in a saucepan with milk, butter, and salt. And not much has changed.
This leek mash recipe sticks to a familiar formula and uses milk and butter to add richness. However, shredded leeks add a depth of flavour that will change how you eat mash forever.
My History of Mashed Potato
Growing up, I’d never heard of mashed potato because I’d always known it as simply mash. Mashed potatoes were ubiquitous with my weekday dinners and were one of the few food items that could be called fresh. But despite frozen and dried versions of mashed potatoes on the market, our mash had always been prepared fresh. Here, the childhood classic plain mash is heightened with leeks, which I’d never thought to do in my younger days.
Potatoes for Leek Mash
Authors and chefs have argued about what potatoes are best to use. I prefer Maris piper potatoes as they’re versatile, meaning unused potatoes can be used again another day. They’re fluffy but don’t fall apart during cooking. This variety is also easily found and most often available in UK supermarkets.
Most supermarkets sell trimmed leeks nowadays. However, to trim a leek, cut off the root and remove the rough green tops. However, don’t throw these parts of the leek as they’re great to use in stocks or bouquet garnis. Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then run under water to remove any debris lodged between each layer of the leek. Allow to dry, then shred the leeks as finely as possible for this leek mashed potato recipe.
Equipment for Leek Mash
While most people own a potato masher, I find obtaining smooth potatoes with one incredibly difficult. I prefer a potato ricer that can be found cheaply online and gives you a smooth mash with no lumps.
Leek Mashed Potato
- 1 Potato Ricer optional
- 1 kg Maris Piper Potatoes Peeled and cut into equal sizes but not too small
- 50 g Butter
- 100 ml Double Cream or Whole Milk
- 3 Large Leeks Trimmed of Tough Green and Shredded
- 3 Cloves of Garlic Minced
- Salt / White Pepper to taste
- Rinse the potato under the cold tap for 5 minutes to remove the excess starch from the outside of the potato, then add 1 tsp of salt per litre of water and bring to a gentle boil. Bring the potatoes to a boil from cold to avoid damaging the outside before the potatoes start cooking and become watery.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes until tender. The length of cooking time will depend on the size of the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes and allow to drain dry in the colander. However, do not allow the potatoes to cool too much, as the potatoes will turn gloopy during mashing.
- While the potatoes drain, heat half the butter over medium heat and slowly cook the leeks with a pinch of salt. When the leeks soften, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Set aside.
- Wipe out the pan that cooked the potatoes, and slowly heat the cream and remaining butter until the butter melts.
- Mash the potato with a potato masher or ricer in a bowl. A potato ricer will remove all lumps from the potato. Stir the leeks through the mash, and season to taste with salt & pepper.