Mash. Everyone loves a good mashed potato. But no one’s going to thank you if they’re gluey or cold or tasteless. Follow these rules and your family and friends will shower you with compliments time after time.
- Use floury potatoes
- Salt the water generously
- Start them off in cold water
- Drain them well
- Warm your butter/milk/cream before adding them
- Don’t overwork them
- Make them just before they’re used
1. Use floury potatoes
Don’t use waxy potatoes (such as red or white varieties) they need a lot more mashing to become creamy and you’ll probably end up with the dreaded “potato paste”
2. Salt the water generously
3. Start them off in cold water
4. Drain them well
5. Warm your butter/milk/cream before adding them
6. Don’t overwork them
The swollen starch granules in your cooked potatoes are in a delicate state. Mashing them too vigorously (for example in the food processor) or for too long releases lots of starch, which can make them gluey and unappetizing.
7. Make them just before they’re used
Potatoes don’t take kindly to sitting around for long periods. Refrigerating them overnight sounds like a no-brainer, but they’ll start to taste like cardboard. Want to make them ahead anyway? You can hold the prepared potatoes in a heat-proof bowl, with the surface covered with plastic wrap, over a pot of simmering water for up to 2 hours. If you have a slow-cooker with a Warm setting, that will work too. Fluff ’em up again before serving.