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’ variety of spud. These are ideal 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, be 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 impact 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 add a dash of flavour from the get-go.
No one likes soggy mashed potato, 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 have it, now you're acquainted with the method of the mashed potato, why not apply apply it to some love dishes. Find some inspiration in the following recipes:
As far as cooking skills go, boiling potatoes is not perhaps the most adventurous, but what they lack in glamour they more than make up for in versatility and usefulness! Whether you’re boiling some up for a salad or serving as a simple side-dish with garlic butter, you’ll want to make sure you get them just right!
There’s not much better out there than a roast potato that strikes the perfect balance between a crispy outside and fluffy, piping hot inside. An essential part of any roast, getting your spuds spot on can make or break the meal so make sure to follow these tips on how to make roast potatoes shine every time.