So - you are about to mash some potatoes. Now this might sound odd, but you need to know if the potatoes you've got are suitable for mashing. If you've got Wilja, Cara, King Edward, Kerr's Pink, Desiree, Romano, Maris Piper, British Queen or Golden Wonder you're in business. Nadine is tolerable. But if you've got a waxy potato you should not be trying to produce mash. The potatoes will not go soft enough, and your mash will contain hard lumps and be almost inedible.
The first stage is to get the potatoes boiled. Cut them into slightly smaller pieces than you would for ordinary boiling. Bring to the boil as before, from cold. Investigate with the point of a knife after about 8-9 minutes. As soon as you're sure everything is soft and cooked and starting to fall apart, strain off and leave with the lid OFF for about 30 seconds to get rid of some of the excess water.
Then get your masher and carefully mash the whole lot, using as few strokes as possible. This wil produce a beautiful, dry mash. Serve immediately - or if you're waiting for other veg. to be done, put the lid back on.
Some folk like to beat in some milk and a little salt / pepper at this stage. It does mean that the mash changes its character. With a really good floury mash, milk is perhaps best avoided. But it's your choice - and some varieties - like Nadine - are improved by it.
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