- Always use floury potatoes like Sebagos or Desirees, and preferably unwashed ones. Give them a quick scrub yourself before peeling them, it’s worth the extra effort.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into even sized pieces. Start them in cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until well cooked.
- Drain the potatoes well, return them to the pot and let them steam over the heat for a minute to evaporate any excess moisture, shaking them constantly so they don’t stick.
- If you have a mouli or a ricer, you can easily press the potatoes to achieve a nice fine smooth mash, but if not, you can use a fine sieve and press the potato through it with the back of a spoon. Only add a few pieces at a time to the sieve, it’s much easier.
Note: never use a food processor unless you are making glue!
- Always work quickly with the potatoes once they are cooked, don’t let them cool down before passing them through the sieve.
- When it’s time to add the butter and cream, bring them to the boil in a small saucepan before adding them to the potatoes.
- Season mash with salt, white pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Black pepper is fine, chef’s tend to use white pepper in things like mash and mayonnaise for mostly aesthetic reasons (that is, so you can’t see the specks of black).
Mashed potatoes will keep well in a covered container in the fridge for a few days, you can microwave them on a low setting to get them warm, and then transfer to a saucepan with a little hot cream and stir them over the heat to bring them back up to temperature.