Perfect creamy mashed potato (mash) is quick and easy to make when all you need is a pan, water, potatoes, a masher, lots of butter, and about 25 minutes of your time. They are the backbone of both British and Irish Food.
An essential part of a British classic, Bangers and Mash.
Choosing the right potato:
For the best mash, you need the right potato, in the UK Maris Piper is my recommendation. For our American cousins either Yukon Gold or Russet will give the best results.
Avoid some common pitfalls by following these tips.
- Use high starch not waxy potatoes.
- Cut into even sized pieces.
- Salt the cooking water well.
- Start them in cold water.
- Drain thoroughly, I leave mine to steam dry for a couple of minutes.
- Use room temperature butter.
- Don’t over mash, you want fluffy not paste.
- Mash just before serving.
Potatoes have an interesting history, coming to Europe in the 1500s. By 1748 the French believed they caused leprosy and banned them. By contrast, mashed potatoes first appeared in The Art of Cookery by English author Hannah Glasse a few years later.
The humble potato has also been susceptible to disease and in the 1840s the Irish potato famine killed a million people, one-eighth of the countries population due to starvation.
A really interesting detailed history of the potato can be found at mentalfloss.com.
- 1 kg potato Maris Piper, peeled
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Chop the potatoes into 2.5cm chunks.
- Add the potatoes to a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Add a knob of butter, a splash of milk, salt and pepper to taste.
- Mash the potato until smooth and creamy with no lumps.