Mash your potatoes to perfection
Is there anything more comforting than a dollop of creamy mashed potato? Whether you like yours with gravy or ketchup, fluffy mash is the ideal companion for meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. Simple yet effective, you can make the most of the humble potato with the Zyliss handy masher.
Read on to learn how to make mash that delights the taste buds and warms the cockles of your heart.
How to mash potatoes
For this delightfully smooth mashed potato recipe, you’ll need:
- 2kg potatoes
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100ml milk
- Salt and pepper
Prep your potatoes
The first step towards smooth mash is to choose the right potatoes. Maris Pipers and King Edwards are a great choice as they give a fluffy result.
Peel and evenly chop your chosen potatoes.
Fill a large saucepan with salted water. Then cook your chopped potatoes over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until they’re tender.
Drain and mash
Drain your potatoes using a colander. It’s a good idea to leave them for a couple of minutes to fully drain and dry slightly. Then return them to the pan. Here’s where the mashing comes in! Using a large masher, crush the potatoes until mostly smooth.
Season and mash again
Add the milk and half of the butter to your potatoes, along with generous pinches of salt and pepper. Mash again until smooth.
If you want a thinner consistency, you can add a dash more milk. Sprinkle in a little more salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon your mash into a warmed serving bowl. For ultimate indulgence, dot the rest of the butter over the top and let it melt through.
Now you’ve got the recipe and know how to make mash, here are a few extra bits of advice to help you achieve perfect results every time.
Use the right tools
As any keen chef will know, the right kitchen tools and utensils can make all the difference.
A vegetable peeler is an essential piece of potato-prepping equipment. Your best bet is a wide peeler that can cover much of the potato’s surface in one motion. You’ll also need a good knife for your potato prep. A sharp chef’s knife or Santoku knife will make chopping through raw potatoes a doddle.
Cooking pans are available in lots of shapes and sizes, and the right kind can make all the difference when it comes to cooking your chopped potatoes. You want to make sure your pan is large enough to hold your ingredients. A large stockpot will give you plenty of space for potatoes and water without running the risk of boiling over.
For mashing, you’ll need a potato masher. Look for something with a large head that will be robust enough to crush the potatoes quickly and easily. A comfortable, ergonomic handle is also helpful — especially if you are making big batches of mash for lots of people.
Taste as you go along
As with any recipe, we all have personal taste preferences. Trying as you go is a good way to alter the mash to your liking. It’s also much easier to add more salt and pepper to underseasoned dishes than take it out of overseasoned ones!
Pair with a family favourite
What do you like to serve your mashed potatoes with? Pie and mash is a classic combination that you can adapt throughout the year. Try serving a lighter puff-pastry pie with a summery filling when it’s warm, or go all out with a hearty meat pie and gravy in the winter.
A similar pairing option is bangers and mash — why not try some veggie sausages for a tasty meat-free dinner? A side of steamed greens can add the final healthy touch.
If you’re not a gravy fan, you might like to serve your mashed potato up with some grated cheese.
Looking to jazz up your mash? For a delicious twist, you could try adding freshly crushed garlic to your rich, buttery mashed potatoes. Chopped chives also make a tasty addition.
The beauty of mashed potatoes is that you can adapt the recipe to suit a dairy-free diet, too. Simply swap the butter and milk for plant-based alternatives. Et voila: vegan mash that’s just as creamy as its dairy counterpart.
Storing and freezing mash
Mashed potato is an ideal dish to make in large batches. Whether you’ve got lots of potatoes to use up or just want to meal prep ahead, you can whip up a large amount of mash and freeze it in portions. Just make sure you use airtight containers.
The best way to defrost your mash is to take it out of the freezer and let it reach room temperature. Then put it in a heatproof bowl covered over with tin foil, and place it over a pan of gently simmering water. Let it heat all the way through and taste to check the temperature.
Shorter-term, you can store fresh mashed potatoes in the fridge for two or three days — ideal for those quick midweek dinners. And if you have some mash that needs using up, there are plenty of creative ways you can make the most of the leftovers.
Beyond the potato
While Maris Pipers and King Edwards are our top choices for traditional mash, there are lots of other vegetables you can use too. You can use the same method to make creamy mashed sweet potatoes and enjoy the sweet and salty flavour combination.
A potato masher is also the ideal tool for crushing swedes, turnips, and carrots — any root vegetable will do. You just need to make sure the veg is cooked until tender before mashing. Mashed broccoli and cauliflower can be a good weaning food for babies, introducing them to new flavours and textures.