Different spuds have different textures, which makes some better suited to mashing than others. To get that lightness you need we recommend using Roosters or Maris Pipers which fall into the ‘floury’ varieties of spud. These are good because floury spuds have a lower ratio of starch to water which makes for a smoother, creamier mash, even if you choose to leave out the added butter or milk. An added bonus is that they are well suited to absorbing the flavours from any supporting ingredients such as garlic, herbs or onions.
When boiling your spuds, make sure to cut them into even chunks so that they can all cook at the same rate. If the sizes are irregular, the larger pieces may end up being undercooked which can affect the overall finished texture. Starting off with cold water and bringing it all to the boil helps to keep things even as well, and a pinch of salt in the mix can help give that lovely seasoned taste from the get-go.
No one likes a soggy mash, so you’re going to want to drain and dry your boiled spuds properly before getting stuck in. Leave them to drain for a few minutes before putting them back in the dry pot on a low heat for just a few minutes, gently moving them around to remove all trapped water. The heat will evaporate any remaining moisture, leaving you with dry potatoes which are ready for a good mashing.
This is where you can really make your mash into something a little more indulgent. If you are adding cream, milk or butter from the fridge make sure that you let them warm up to room temperature first so that they are able to mix in easily and don’t cool the rest of it down too much!
Now you’re ready to mash! Before you start laying into it, remember that you can actually mash too much and affect the final outcome. This is because the starch cells in cooked potatoes are more delicate which means that if they are treated a little too roughly they will rupture, causing the final texture to be a little gluey, rather than smooth and delicate. It’s better to use a ricer rather than a masher as it can be gentler and definitely avoid using a food processor or blender as these are far too powerful.
So there you go! You’re now a mash master so go forth and create some lovely dishes. Here are a couple of ideas:
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