Red Jacket potatoes look nice. Red shell with a creamy interior. I wanted something to accompany a stew and mashed potatoes seemed like the perfect match.
Plain mashed potato is like bed socks and a dressing gown. It’s comfortable. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a potato though, but I would fancy a red jacket.
I didn’t want anything to over shadow my Guinness and beef stew. I wanted colour contrast. I wanted a filler. I wanted a vegetable. I wanted potatoes. It just had to be potatoes and it had to be mashed. It was to match Guinness beer so it couldn’t have been anything but the potato.
Do we all make mashed potatoes the same way? I wondered.
I peel and wash and cut up the potatoes and place them in a pot of cold water. I add salt and boil for about 15 minutes or so depending on the size of the potatoes. I check to see if they are cooked by prodding them with a fork. When done. I drain the water. I return it to the turned off stove top to remove any excess water.
Now comes the fun part. The mashing. Hang on a minute. Before that come the extra ingredients.
Milk, butter and white pepper.
How much do you add?
Well I don’t measure at all. I poured the milk straight from the bottle. (Milk no longer comes in glass bottles. They actually come in plastic containers in 1litre or 2 litre sizes around here.) About that much. Then I used the fork to add the butter, about so much. Then a sprinkle of white pepper. I use white pepper so that it blends with the potato, gives flavour without colour. I wanted one colour. And remember the pot of water was salted already so the potatoes don’t need more salt. I leave the milk beside me, just in case I want to add more.
And now the fun part. Mashing.
If you like a lumpy mash, partially mashed mixed in with the smooth then don’t mash it for long. If you like it to be completely smooth you will need to add more milk, but mash it first.
For a smooth mash you will need to mash it and beat it. Up and down with the mashing motion and a beating around and around using the masher as if it were a wooden spoon.
Taste test for texture approval and add more milk if needed.
Place the lid on the pot to keep the mashed potato warm until ready to serve.
*I do not recommend using the electric wand blenders because over-mashed potatoes becomes the consistency of wall paper paste and it cannot be resurrected after it has gone beyond the point of no return. I would rather have the lumps than glue! You have been warned. Okay I speak from experience. It was awful. I ate it anyway. Just a few mouthfuls. Just be thankful that I ‘discovered’ this first so you wouldn’t have to go through it too. I was trying to save a little time. I threw out my electric wand as it sparked on me while I was making soup another day. I unplugged it and threw it in the bin. A waste perhaps. Yes it was but I would rather be alive and cooking and taking my sweet time than not being around to cook ever again.
- Heat the milk before adding
- Add cream
- Add sour cream
- Add cloves of garlic with the boiled potatoes and mash together
- Add drained boiled parsnips
- Add drained sweet potatoes
- Add drained boiled cauliflower
- Add garam masala and cayenne pepper/chili powder
- Add Dijon mustard
- Add BBQ sauce
- Add cheese topping and grill before serving
- Add bay leaves to the potato pot
- Bengali style mash recipe here