This mashed potato recipe makes a delicious side dish. But where there’s an incredibly rich flavour, there’s the risk of overindulgence, so try not to eat too much of these creamy mashed potatoes.
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. The potatoes are usually steamed or boiled and then mixed with butter, cream, or milk. It’s a classic dish in the British cook’s repertoire, with other variations in different regions. In Ireland, spring onions added to mashed potato creates champ, while cabbage or kale creates colcannon. 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.
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 in 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. Oh, the life of exuberance.
Potatoes for 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.
You’ll need a way to mash the potatoes. While most people own a potato mash, I find obtaining smooth potatoes with one incredibly difficult. I prefer a potato ricer that can be found cheaply online and give you a smooth mash with no lumps. And there’s nothing worse than lumpy mash.
- 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
- Pinch of Nutmeg Optional
- 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, slowly heat the cream and 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.
- Fold the butter and cream into the potatoes until combined but don’t beat too vigorously. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.