There are few things more delicious, comforting or simple to make than a great dollop of buttery, smooth mashed potatoes!
As well as being the ultimate comfort food, mashed potatoes can also be jazzed up into something really special. They’re a super-versatile alternative to roast potatoes for your Christmas dinner, and have the added benefit of soaking up all those lovely meat juices and gravy.
CLEVER FLAVOUR TWISTS
Give your spuds a bit of heat with a grating of fresh horseradish or a spoonful of wholegrain mustard. Or, for something a little more decadent, grate mature Cheddar cheese into the mash, place in a ovenproof dish and bake in a hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until it goes deliciously crispy and oozy.
2kg Maris Piper potatoes
50g unsalted butter
1. Peel the potatoes, chopping any larger ones so they’re all a similar size.
2. Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
3. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes, then tip back into the pan and mash well.
4. When the potatoes are almost smooth, add half the butter, the milk and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
5. Mash again until smooth, adding a splash more milk to loosen, if needed, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
6. Spoon into a warm serving dish and dot the remaining butter over the top.
Have fun serving up your mash. Put it all into a big bowl for the table, smooth the edges using a palette knife so that it has a conical point in the middle – then create a spiral shape around the sides.
STORING & FREEZING MASH
Mashed potatoes will keep for two to three days in the fridge, or you can freeze them in an airtight container. To defrost, allow the mash to come up to room temperature then place in a heatproof bowl, cover with tin foil and place over a pan of very gently simmering water until hot all the way through. (See more clever ideas for freezing food.)
LEFTOVER MASHED POTATOES
You can do loads of tasty things with leftover mash. Potato cakes are a great option: mix day-old mash with blanched greens and a handful of chopped fresh herbs, shape into patties and pan-fry in a little oil until crisp and golden. Serve topped with a poached egg and smoked salmon for a quick-fix brunch.
Or why not mix mash with some grated cheese and spring onions, then bake in a hot oven for a gooey cheese and onion side dish?