Few dishes are more comforting than a bowl of mashed potatoes and I know that some cooks are not always happy with their efforts. There are a few simple rules to follow for that bowl of perfect fluffy and smooth potatoes.

Ingredients

Serves

  • 900g Potatoes 
  • Milk 120ml approx 
  • 1 Egg, optional 
  • Salt & pepper 
  • 50G butter  

Method

  1. Scrub the potatoes really well. Cover with cold water and salt generously. Cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
  2. The variety of potato and the time of year will determine how careful you will need to be when cooking the potatoes. The more floury the potatoes are, the more they are likely to split in the cooking, hence the more you need to steam them. In that case pour off most of the water after about ten minutes cooking, just leaving 2 cm of water to steam the potatoes for the remaining time which takes about a further 20 minutes. The potatoes need to be completely tender. 
  3.  When the potatoes are nearly cooked, put the milk on to boil. Immediately the potatoes are cooked, peel them and pass through a vegetable mouli if you wish. This will give a smoother consistency to the finished dish. If you don’t have a mouli, use an old fashioned hand masher. It is essential however to deal with the potatoes the minute they are cooked as if they are allowed to cool at all before mashing, they may become gluey.
  4. If your milk has gone off the boil, bring it back to a boil and add the boiling milk slowly. It may not take all of the milk, so be careful not to make soup.
  5. Add the butter, the egg if using, and season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Taste and correct seasoning.