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Help a smug cook get smugger

(30 Posts)

OK, so I'm a pretty decent cook (goodness knows I have few other reasons to feel smug) - I can bake, follow recipes, improvise and am generally perceived as a good cook but I have a shameful secret - I cannot for the life of me make decent mashed potato. Occasionally I have created something worth eating, but it's rare and always by accident, never reliably when I need decent mash.

It's either gluey or dry and nearly always lumpy whether I use a metal masher or an electric beater. I use butter and milk and white or Maris Piper potatoes.

Can you make good mash? Can you help me master it so I can dish up yummy mash and my super amazing stews? ;)

When cooking the potatoes, cold water or preboiled to start?

My mash is awful.

DeepRedBetty Tue 15-Jan-13 23:33:32

Always start from cold.

Basic boiling of veg rule:-

If it comes from underground, put in cold water and bring to boil, remove and drain when it falls off a knife stabbed into the thickest part.

Everything else, pour boiling water over from kettle and stuff onto full blast gas ring. Will likely be done the moment water comes back to boil or a minute or two after. Keep checking. At least that's my excuse for eating half the green beans before they even make it to the plate.

Ruffello Wed 16-Jan-13 06:49:13

All of the above, then finish off by beating in a little double cream with a wooden spoon

PolterGoose Wed 16-Jan-13 13:49:00

I've taken to batch making mash by cooking the potatoes in the pressure cooker, they cook lovely and soft but don't absorb the cooking water.

If you use a masher (I use a Good Grips one with the horizontal handle) do mash the potatoes before adding milk and butter, if you add them first you will get more lumps. Lashings of fresh black pepper is essential.

JuliaSqueezer Wed 16-Jan-13 14:44:31

I use an electric steamer for potatoes and veg, that way they're not sitting in water the whole time and it's virtually impossible to overcook them, can leave them alone until it goes ping (if I do in pans on the hob they always seem to boil over the minute my back is turned).

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