200g peeled potatoes per person
A knob of butter
A splash of milk or cream
This method for making mash is based on my Dad’s method. After my Mum got ill and subsequently passed away in 2007, he had to learn a lot about cooking in a fairly short period of time as Mum had always cooked for him.
Being a man that loves his spuds he quickly learnt that the smaller you chop the potatoes the faster they cook (to a point) and not wanting to wait for long when he got in from work in the evening he experimented until he came up with the optimal size.
He would usually peel and chop the potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes before going to work in the morning or over his lunch hour and leave them in a saucepan covered with water until he arrived home in the evening. I usually let mine sit for half an hour to an hour, before draining the water and covering them again with cold water, and adding a large pinch of salt.
Get the saucepan onto the cooker at the highest heat. Put the lid on the pan and when the water starts to boil bring the heat down so that the water is at a good simmer.
After about 5 minutes test the potatoes with a skewer or tooth pick. Do this by pushing it into a few different potato cubes, the skewer should slide through relatively easily with the same resistance all the way, if this is the case they’re done, if you find it goes in part way and then needs more force, they will need some more time. But always test a few as some can take little longer than others.
Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the heat and drain the water off. Take some kitchen roll and cover the drained drained potatoes with 2-3 sheets of this and leave them to stand for 4-5 minutes. This helps to remove some of the moisture from the potatoes making for better mash.
Finally, remove the kitchen paper, add a knob of butter, a splash of milk or cream and mash the potatoes until smooth, this is not an exact science so you may need to add a little more milk or cream to get them smooth. Taste them and season with salt as required and your ready to serve.
I have been known to add fresh chopped chives or spring onions (when I have them) at the mashing stage (Elly likes to add grated cheddar) for extra flavour.