Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes?!
1. Choose the right potato
All potatoes are not created equal! They are all delicious, carb filled amazing veggies.. but you need to use them in the correct ways! Fingerling and red bliss potatoes are better for roasting.. they are more of a waxy potato with a low starch ratio so they won’t break down well or absorb the dairy as well! Go for the russets or yukon gold potatoes! (I usually use russets..)
2. Cut the potatoes all in the same size
If you cut them into different sizes, they will cook at different paces. Your smaller chunks will be cooked through while the larger will be undercooked, thus you will have chunks of raw potato in your mash.. yuck.
3. Always start with cold water
The water you put your raw potatoes in should be cold. Not room temp, COLD. You want to let the potatoes come to temperature and begin cooking while your water heats. By the time you come to a rapid boil, they should be ready!
4. Your water should taste like the sea
Your water should not only be cold, but also salty.. The potatoes will suck in the water as they cook, so you’ll get that nice undertone of salt in the dish!
5. Let your potatoes soak
When I make mash, I put my cold salted water on the stove and begin to peel and chop. I put the chunks in the water as I go to avoid the browning of the potatoes.. but also so they can soak in the salt water for a few minutes. I find doing this helps them to retain the salt and to swell slightly and help to release some of their natural starch into the water.. So when it boils and they start to suck in the water, they will retain some starch along with the salt to help them stay airy and thick.
6. Do not cover the pot
When you’re cooking, don’t cover the pot. You want it to come to a boil at its own pace to cook the potatoes. If you cover the pot, the heat will rumble within and you will capture the steam and cause the water to come to boil quicker then it takes to cook the potatoes.
7. Buy a potato ricer
I’m telling you, buy one. THEY ARE AMAZING. You cook your potatoes until you can easily stick a knife in and they crumble, drain them and you spoon into the potato ricer and press down. it crushes them perfectly.. literally amazing. You will mix it after and there will not be one clump!
8. Heat your milk and butter
When I dump the potatoes, as they are draining, I pour the milk and butter into the pot and turn it on low. You do not want to add cold milk to hot potatoes.. It will clump and cause the milk make your potatoes cold. Heat the milk and butter on low and rice the potatoes into the pot. Use a wooden spoon to mix it all together and it’ll be ready!!
9. If you do not have a potato ricer
As long as your potatoes are cooked until falling apart, a potato masher or fork should work fine to whip them up and be clump-free. However, I still recommend putting the ricer on your christmas list 😉
10. Take it easy
Don’t over work you potatoes.. Much like us, they dont like to be over-worked! When you are mashing you release starches.. If you do a lot of excess mashing and mixing, they will become gummy and tough. (Yet another reason the ricer is so great! One squeeze and they are ready to stir! Just saying.. by the way, I swear I don’t work for a potato ricer company, I just love mine!!)
11. Whip in a chunk of cold butter
After you mix the potatoes together with your warmed milk and melted butter, right before you serve them, throw in a tablespoon of cold butter and whip it in. This will make them silky and delicious! If you make them ahead of time.. Heat them up stirring constantly and once they are warm, whip in the butter.
Bonus Tip!! – Try not to eat the entire pot
This is the hardest step.. These mashies will be smooth, salty, thick, silky and FREAKING DELICIOUS! I urge you to share, as sharing is caring.. However, I know the struggle all too well.. I am not proud of this, but I often “try” them many times before serving.. 6 tablespoons later, well.. you know! 😉