There are many opinions on how to get the perfect mash, however, it comes down to personal preference.
- Select a potato labelled as suitable for mashing* as this will give the best results. This will be a floury textured potato. (A potato labelled as general purpose will give you a good result, however, potatoes which are specifically labelled for mashing will give a better result. A general purpose potato produces a texture that will be somewhere between floury and waxy. If you use a boiling or waxy textured potato the mash will be stickier.)
- Cut potatoes into even sized pieces so they will cook at the same rate.
- Place in a saucepan with a lid and add enough cold water to just cover the potatoes.
- Place the lid on the saucepan, and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer gently. Vigorous boiling will cause most potatoes to break up.
- After about 20 minutes test if they are cooked with a skewer or sharp knife – they need to be really soft but not broken up. Do not test too early as it can cause the potato to break up.
- Drain well, and mash until all lumps are gone.
- Milk, butter, salt and pepper are the traditional ingredients added to mashed potatoes, however, more adventurous combinations can be used. Try olive oil, margarine, finely chopped herbs, grated cheese, plain yoghurt, whole grain mustard, sour cream, olives, capers, chopped sun dried tomatoes, horseradish, capsicum or sautéed onion.
- For very smooth creamy mash – use a potato ricer to push the potato flesh through small holes resulting in a fine texture. Then follow point 8 instructions.
- Add low fat milk and a splash of olive oil to the mash.
- Flavoured olive or avocado oils, fresh herbs and or sautéed onions can be used to add flavour instead of seasoning.
- ‘Smashed’ potatoes are unpeeled cooked potatoes which are mashed – potatoes retain more fibre when unpeeled.
*For more information on end use of potatoes, view the poster, Potato varieties and how they cook.