The perfect smooth and creamy mashed potatoes are quite simply, comfort food at it’s best. A soft bedding for rich, slow cooked lamb shanks or a favourite topping on the classic shepard’s pie recipe – knowing how to achieve buttery and fluffy mash is an absolute necessity for any home cook wanting to expand their everyday cooking skills.
It may be deceivingly simple, but this classic side is accustom to a few common cooking mistakes. Once you know these tricks and hacks, you will make the kind of mash that will have others asking you to pass on your secrets.
From choosing the right potato to knowing that your dairy products must be warm before adding them to your mash, see what creates the perfect potato consistency.
Our how-to video will show you all that you need to know. Create this recipe on repeat, then mix it up with our top five ways to dress up your mashed potatoes.
What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?
For creamy mashed potatoes you want to choose a starchy potato variety, that will become fluffy when cooked. Varieties such as Desiree, Nadine or Nicola are great for this purpose.
You also, always want to avoid waxy varieties, as these do not release their starch enough, to create the desired look and feel for mash. Instead waxy potatoes are great for chips or wedges, as they hold their shape well.
A genius hack for creamy mashed potatoes – Why you add your butter before your milk to mashed potatoes
It’s well… Science. The starch in the potatoes has a reaction with the butter. More specifically, the cells of the potato absorb the fat, in turn, allowing your spuds to achieve their desired creamy consistency.
Why you should always use warm milk and butter for mashed potatoes
Milk and butter alike, you want your dairy products to be warm before adding to your potatoes. Milk that is straight from the fridge will cool your potatoes down rapidly, whereas milk that is pre-warmed will combine easily and add to the soft consistency of your spuds.
When it comes to adding butter, you want it to be pre-melted. This process separates the milk solids from the fat in the butter, meaning that the fat can react with the starch in your potatoes quickly.
How do you remove the spots on potatoes?
Potatoes have small dark holes in their skin also named ‘lenticels’. These spots, technically are areas for the potato to respire.
You can remove them simply, if you have a digging tool or ‘steel cutter’, on the end of your peeler. Simply scoop away the spots from the potatoes. This ensures that you don’t need to create too much waste when getting rid of unwanted areas of your spuds.
5 ways to dress up mashed potatoes
Here a five ways that you can take your mashed potatoes from beautifully basic to impressive and dinner party worthy.
- Mashed potatoes + burnt butter + sage
- Mashed potatoes + blue cheese
- Mashed potatoes + sour cream + chives
- Mashed potatoes + roasted garlic + parmesan
The 2016 Winter Warmers Foodbook has over 20 comfort food ideas that are the perfect addition to your dinner when served with mash. Download your copy to get recipes for everything from slow cooked dishes to great pastas and decadent desserts.
Recipe ideas that are made even more delicious, when served with creamy mashed potatoes
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