1. First, choose the right potato. Use a starchy variety or an all-rounder such as sebago (as used here), desiree, pontiac or golden delight. Avoid waxy potatoes.
2. When boiling, start with cold water to ensure potatoes cook evenly and entirely at a slow, steady pace.
3. Salt the water to give potatoes flavour as they cook.
4. Heat butter and cream before adding as they’re harder to incorporate when cold. They also cool down hot mash.
5. Don’t overbeat – you’ll get a sticky mess more like glue than a fluffy side.
Creamy mashed potato
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Serves 4–6 as a side dish
• 1.2kg sebago potatoes, washed, peeled, cut into large chunks
• 3 tsp fine salt
• 100g butter, chopped
• 125ml thickened cream
• Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
Step 1 Put potatoes in a large saucepan with salt and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to medium. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
Step 2 Drain and return to pan.
Step 3 For a chunky-style result, squish potatoes with masher.
Step 4 If you prefer smoother mash, push through a ricer or sieve.
Step 5 Put butter and cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes or until butter has melted. Season.
Step 6 Remove from heat and add to warm mashed potato.
Step 7 Beat with a wooden spoon until well combined. Serve.
Want to make it healthier?
Use milk instead of cream and omit butter. Potatoes provide a good amount of vitamin C and fibre. However, the fibre benefits are far greater when the skins are left on. So, if you need more fibre in your diet, cook and mash them skin and all. It saves on peeling, too!