Knowing how to make mashed potatoes isn't something you are just born with – oh no. This hugely comforting side-plate – or even meal in itself – is simple, in essence, but a little expert guidance will go a long way.
This is one humble dish that is mega tasty when done right. And when you can master the basic recipe, you can then start adding other fancy touches to your mash or using it as a topping for popular dishes.
What kind of potatoes are best for mashing?
The key to great mashed potatoes is, of course, choosing the right kind of potato. You need a floury variety that goes fluffy when boiled. Maris Piper is easily the best variety for mashing, but most medium-sized white potato varieties will also work. One tattie that we wouldn't recommend using is the dear new potato, (far too delicate) and baking potatoes (wrong flavour and texture altogether) are also not advised. Stick to our advice and you will most certainly master that mash.
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How to make mashed potatoes
To serve four, you'll need:
- Maris Piper or other floury potatoes, 1kg
- Full-fat milk, 150ml
- Butter, unsalted, 30g
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks. Bring them to the boil in a large, deep pan of salted water.
2. Boil for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are completely cooked and fall apart when you prod them with a fork.
3. Drain well, making sure they're completely dry before returning them to the pan.
4. Begin mashing with a potato masher, adding the milk and butter as you go along. Do this with the heat off to avoid burning your mash.
5. The ideal mash consistency should be silky but not watery, which is why it's a good idea to keep adding a bit of milk at a time to achieve the desired consistency.
6. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Tip: You can use olive oil instead of butter. The flavour will be a little different, but it works just as well. You can also use plant-based milk and butter for a vegan version.
Want to make extra-fancy mash?
Transfer it to an oven-proof dish, and sprinkle liberally with grated cheddar or parmesan. Stick in a hot oven for about ten minutes, or until crispy and golden.