Mash, Potato Mash, Spud Mash.
Which ever way you say it, it conjures up images of comfort food.
Smooth creamy mash with; sausages; chops and gravy; peas and gravy; mum’s stew…. The list goes on.
But as with most things in life, not all Potato Mash is created equally.
If it is too runny, too floury, too lumpy or too tasteless, it is just not going to make the grade.
The first issue to the perfect mash is the potato skin. Peel it off – right! Well, my family often actually enjoy ‘country mash’, which leaves the skin on. This results in a more lumpy style mash, which tastes good and is more healthy with more fiber. It is just great with large meaty sausages and gravy. So maybe next time, you may try leaving the skin on.
But regardless of whether you peel or not, the biggest obstacle to mashed potato is water.
Water actually leaches out all the flavor from the spud.
So if your mum taught you to cook mash like mine did “Peel the spud, cut up, put in a saucepan full of water, set aside and when ready, put on to boil.
Then it is time to evolve.
Now this is a big step, but ‘steam’ the potatoes instead.
Peel and cut the potatoes into even sizes. Put in a steamer, place on a tight lid and gently boil the water for 20-25 minutes.
To check to see if the spuds are cooked, stab a fork into the thickest part. If it is soft, then it is ready.
Once ready, remove from heat and drain the water from the steamer. Place a clean tea towel over the pot for 5 minutes. This will absorb any excess steam and stop the potato becoming soggy.
Then it is time to do your best with your masher, and use your favorite additives – milk and a knob of butter; cream; crème fraiche and milk….
And then enjoy.
However, if steaming is too much of a leap and you can’t get mum’s instructions out of your head and still insist on boiling. Then use as little water as possible, use boiling water and keep the lid on.
Which ever way you cook your mash, remember to enjoy its simplicity and have a fantastic meal.
Until our next cooking tip together. Enjoy!
Lisa “The Crock Cook"
Lisa can be found adding delicious simple Crock Pot Recipes at a-crock-cook.com or deliberating her fortune at chinese fortune cookies and creating stunning cupcakes at cupcake-creations.com.
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