Help a smug cook get smugger

(30 Posts)

OK, so I'm a pretty decent cook (goodness knows I have few other reasons to feel smug) - I can bake, follow recipes, improvise and am generally perceived as a good cook but I have a shameful secret - I cannot for the life of me make decent mashed potato. Occasionally I have created something worth eating, but it's rare and always by accident, never reliably when I need decent mash.

It's either gluey or dry and nearly always lumpy whether I use a metal masher or an electric beater. I use butter and milk and white or Maris Piper potatoes.

Can you make good mash? Can you help me master it so I can dish up yummy mash and my super amazing stews? ;)

JuliaSqueezer Wed 16-Jan-13 14:44:31

I use an electric steamer for potatoes and veg, that way they're not sitting in water the whole time and it's virtually impossible to overcook them, can leave them alone until it goes ping (if I do in pans on the hob they always seem to boil over the minute my back is turned).

PolterGoose Wed 16-Jan-13 13:49:00

I've taken to batch making mash by cooking the potatoes in the pressure cooker, they cook lovely and soft but don't absorb the cooking water.

If you use a masher (I use a Good Grips one with the horizontal handle) do mash the potatoes before adding milk and butter, if you add them first you will get more lumps. Lashings of fresh black pepper is essential.

Ruffello Wed 16-Jan-13 06:49:13

All of the above, then finish off by beating in a little double cream with a wooden spoon

DeepRedBetty Tue 15-Jan-13 23:33:32

Always start from cold.

Basic boiling of veg rule:-

If it comes from underground, put in cold water and bring to boil, remove and drain when it falls off a knife stabbed into the thickest part.

Everything else, pour boiling water over from kettle and stuff onto full blast gas ring. Will likely be done the moment water comes back to boil or a minute or two after. Keep checking. At least that's my excuse for eating half the green beans before they even make it to the plate.

When cooking the potatoes, cold water or preboiled to start?

My mash is awful.

Startail Tue 15-Jan-13 23:20:26

more butter than can possibly be healthy, more milk than you think, pepper and nutmeg.

Ricers are good because you can leave the skins on. I'm not allowed salt, DD s say it makes it taste sweet??

Weird thinks DDs I'm allowed a ton of salted butter, but no salt?

Bake the potatoes (leave the skins on). Then cut in half and put in a ricer. You can pick the skin out and then do the same with more bits of baked potato. Add loads of butter and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Delicious, and no need to dry out the potatoes as they never got wet in the first place.

You can also add cheese for delicious cheesy mash.

howiwonder Tue 15-Jan-13 23:00:55

After draining, I put back in pan and return to the hob just for a few seconds, just dries them off- not long enough to cook them. Got that tip from a cookbook and it does work.
Oh yes, and a ricer is a revelation!

Wingdingdong Tue 15-Jan-13 22:56:37
Wingdingdong Tue 15-Jan-13 22:56:19

For some reason I've never had a problem with mash (plenty of problems with other stuff - chicken breasts are ALWAYS overcooked!).

I usually use King Edward potatoes - but also because I prefer these for roasties and jackets too and only want one sack of spuds in my grocery shop.

Drain them, add lots of butter, leave to steam off for a couple of minutes. Add hot - or at least warm - milk, turn the hob back on low and mash away. Add more butter as necessary. Best mash is with full-fat milk, luckily I have DC young enough to use as an excuse for that. If we have any cream that needs finishing up, that goes in too.

I did buy a ricer recently because I couldn't mash small enough portions to do for baby DS alone. I bought this one http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Chefn-Fresh-Force-Potato-Ricer/62568011?from=search&tags=%7C20000&param=potato+ricer&parentContainer=SEARCHpotato+ricer_SHELFVIEW from Ocado when it was on special offer. Still flipping expensive but it's fantastic, I love it. I've been ricing (sp?) loads of stuff straight into his bowl. Really easy to clean too. For doing just one or two potatoes, the ricer is definitely the way forward, but it made pretty short work of a whole saucepan too.

CrazyOldCatLady Tue 15-Jan-13 19:38:30

I get lumps even with a ricer blush

Don't overboil, and the steaming thing really is absolutely vital. My mash has improved considerably since I started steaming.

HearMyRoar Tue 15-Jan-13 19:32:53

Oh dear, I'm such a heathen. I like my mash with lumps. I even, and you might need to sit down for this, like to leave the skins on. I don't even dare mention what I use instead of butter and milk as dp doesn't like dairy.

<runs off to hide from the inevitable lynch mob>

BirdyArms Tue 15-Jan-13 19:22:18

What everyone else said. i have Lakeland's bottom of the range potato ricer. Think that letting the potatoes dry for a few minutes in the colander is particularly important.

therugratref Tue 15-Jan-13 19:09:29

While the spuds are steam drying in the colander. Put the milk and butter in the pan and heat them up. Keeps the result hotter and stops cold milk from setting the starch into lumps and a ricer is a marvel.

pinkpaperpiggy Tue 15-Jan-13 19:09:25

Also make sure you add hot milk not cold as cold milk can make it gluey.

ClaraOswinOswald Tue 15-Jan-13 19:06:24

I'm the same. I did mash for tea tonight and the girls said it was the best I'd ever done. It was ready-made from the reduced veg section.
smile

I bought a ricer but it isn't very good. Any recommendations?

sleepyhead Tue 15-Jan-13 19:04:06

I've got this one from IKEA and it does the job for £8.

nextphase Tue 15-Jan-13 19:03:01

everyone has said it all.
don't over cook (but make sure they are cooked!)
let them steam for a bit
potato ricer
LOADS of butter, and either a tiny splash if full fat milk, a larger splodge of cream if you've got some lying around, or stay clear of adding liquid.

MumOfTheMoos Tue 15-Jan-13 19:01:33

Don't boil them to buggery.

I love mash that is whisked but if you have overlooked them they go gloppy. So, I use a river to guarantee the result although it never reaches the fluffy light highs of a really good whisked mash smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 15-Jan-13 19:00:20

Push the cooked potatoes through the ricer, add seasoning, milk and butter and then whip briefly with a wooden spoon....

Mynewmoniker Tue 15-Jan-13 18:55:31

Yy for ricer. They can be expensive so shop around.

For taste put in plenty of salt and pepper as well as butter and a little cream for special occaisions.

I do let them steam, but i boil them to buggery first blush

Naoko Tue 15-Jan-13 18:51:42

Do you let the potatoes steam before you mash them? That's key. Boil, drain, give 'em 5-10, shake them around to get the ones from the bottom to the top, give another 5. You need them to dry out a bit or your mash will taste watery.

And YY lots of butter.

bigbadbarry Tue 15-Jan-13 18:49:44

I'm the same! Can't make mash, pastry is erratic.
(Shh don't tell anybody but you can buy it ready made now blush)

<adds ricer to shopping list>

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