HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATO






It may sound little strange but my old dad had an absolute passion for mashed potato. Not only was it a dish that he took great pride in creating, he also believed that a large enough pile of it would cure a hangover - if enough was eaten!

His obsession may well be due to his farming family background who predominantly grew parsnips and potatoes in the Spey Bay region of Scotland. All I know is that Dad's mashed potato was excellent.

Getting the right potato

The trouble is that potatoes nowadays just don't have the flavour. Typically floury and flavourless, supermarket potatoes just don't make the grade. Don't believe me, then try cooking up some home-grown or allotment potatoes, the difference will surprise you.

My favourite variety is 'Pink fir Apple'. The trouble is that the yields are poor, but the flavour is second to none! I even cook it with the skin left on - make sure you wash it thoroughly first.

Of course, soil conditions will vary depending on where you live, so if you decide to grow your own potatoes talk to local growers to find the best performing varieties.

How to make mashed potatoes

The main ingredients for mashed potato are as follows:

Potatoes
Salt
Pepper
Milk
Butter - good quality not cheap own brand.

If you are on a diet then loose the butter. If you need fattening up then you can add grated mature cheese and or double cream. If you are posh then add or just top with chopped parsley or chives.

Put simply, peel or not peel the potatoes - depending on your preference - and boil them for approximately 15 minutes in a suitably sized saucepan. Don't overcook them as they will turn into a horrible wet mush when you mash them.

When the potatoes are near to being cooked, test them with a table knife. If the knife doesn't go into the potato then it isn't ready. If the knife slides in comfortably then it is cooked and ready for mashing. If the knife slides in and the potato begins to fall apart then it is too late - your potatoes are overcooked you Muppet so pay attention for next time!

Using a colander drain the water off. Once it has stopped dripping place the potatoes back into the hot saucepan. Add a knob of butter, a drop of milk to improve the consistency and a touch of salt and pepper.

Mash the mix with a potato masher. Once all of the lumps have gone taste test the mix and add more of any ingredients that you feel are lacking. Mash it once more and serve. Enjoy, and don't forget to add lashings of thick gravy.

For more information click onto:
HOW CAN YOU TELL WHEN TO HARVEST POTATOES?
HOW TO CONTROL SLUG DAMAGE ON POTATO TUBERS
HOW TO GROW POTATOES
HOW TO GROW POTATOES
HOW TO RECOGNISE POTATO BLIGHT - Phytophthora infestans
MASHED POTATO
SLUG AND BLIGHT RESISTANT POTATO VARIETIES
WHEN ARE POTATOES READY TO HARVEST
WHY AND HOW TO CHIT POTATOES

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