Making the perfect mashed potato is no joke.
It’s a culinary art form that requires your full attention: one moment you’re gently stirring the soft, starchy goodness and the next, after a brief Instagram break, they’re burnt to a crisp, all of a spudden.
Now, cooking experts have revealed the key to getting the side dish staple right every time – and it turns out there are a few mistakes most of us make without even realising.
Firstly, the team of professionals at Good Housekeeping advise being highly selective when it comes to choosing your potatoes, opting for starchier varieties, such as Russets, to ensure optimum creaminess instead of more commonly-bought red and white ones, which they say can lead to a waxy consistency when mashed.
Another schoolboy error that’s been chipping away at us for years is forgetting to add salt to the water the potatoes are boiling in; this is key to ensuring your mash is well-seasoned.
If your mash will play a starring role in your next dinner party, it’s best to make it on the night rather than ahead of time, they added, as potatoes can start to lose their taste overnight, with Good Housekeeping’s experts likening next-day mash to “cardboard” – not ideal.
When it comes to cooking your pre-mashed potatoes, rather than immediately submerging them in boiling water, it’s better to start them in cold water, heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer. This will prevent your spuds from cooking unevenly.
Be sure to drain them thoroughly afterwards too, they added.
Also, don’t add your flavourings immediately; milk, butter and cream will be absorbed more easily if they’re at room temperature and not chilled from the fridge.
Finally, the experts insist on not overworking your mash.
Using a food processor might seem like the quick and easy solution to perfect mash, but in reality, it can lead to a gluey and fairly unappealing consistency.
So, if you’ve been struggling to find a mash made in heaven for years, be sure to follow these top tips and remember, when times get tough, don’t abandon chip.
This article was originally published in 2018