Pick a proper potato
We like to use Mediterranean or everyday potatoes for mash. When choosing them, always select smooth, firm and blemish-free potatoes. If they have any soft brown marks or spots, discard them as they will deteriorate faster and affect the other potatoes they are stored with. As a general rule of thumb, 1 kg of potatoes will feed four people.
How to make the perfect mashed potato
To make the fluffiest, lump-free mash, it’s worth investing in a ricer (available from your local catering or kitchen supply shop). Put cooked potatoes into the ricer and press them down to squeeze out any excess moisture, then simply add butter and milk and mix until smooth. If you can’t be bothered with the extra piece of equipment, you could also press your cooked potatoes through a sieve. If you’re sticking with a good, old-fashioned potato masher, cut your potatoes into slightly smaller cubes and ensure they’re very well cooked to give you a smoother result.
Whatever you do, take care not to overmash or overwork the potatoes or they will become gluey. Never blend them in a food processor or with a hand blender!
Add some flavour
You can add nutmeg, mustard, herbs, grated cheese or crushed garlic to mashed potato for extra flavour. A classic combo for show-off mash is 2 t horseradish and cream instead of milk, or 4 T grated Parmesan and some good-quality truffle oil. We’re also partial to using brown butter too, as it adds a more-ish nutty flavour. If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury, make aligot, a cheesy version of mashed potatoes that might convert you forever.
Another great way to impart flavour is to infuse the milk (or cream) before adding it to the mash. Do this by placing the milk in a small pot and add aromatics such as bashed garlic cloves, thyme or rosemary. Place over a medium heat to scald the milk and remove from the heat once you start to see small bubbles forming in the milk. You don’t want this to come to the boil, so keep an eye on it. Once off the heat, leave the milk to stand so the flavours can properly develop.
Get the recipe for aligot here.