The classic side dish of mash has been named Britain’s favourite way to prepare potatoes and a hot topic amongst chefs, home-cooks and foodies alike is how best to prepare it.
The best potatoes for mash
Our advice for the perfect mashed potato is to look at varieties with a smooth textured, buttery-tasting flesh. Red-skinned varieties of potatoes are great for mashing, as they tend to have a slightly denser consistency, which when boiled for mash creates a creamy smooth consistency. Some of the creamier All rounder varieties like Nectar or Georgina are also ideal as they’ll give a rich, naturally buttery-tasting dish.
More floury varieties like Maris Piper or King Edward can be good too, but you need to be careful not to overcook them or you’ll end up with mush, rather than mash.
Try experimenting to see which texture you enjoy best.
Mozart potatoes have a firm, creamy yellow flesh which makes a deliciously velvety smooth mash. Possibly the best-known red-skinned potato, along with Desiree, they’re one of the most popular in the UK. They’re a versatile variety, which holds its shape if cooked in sauces, making them great for gratins and dauphinoise.
The Laura potato is a golden-fleshed, red-skinned potato that makes a deliciously buttery mash. Expect a rich taste and slight creaminess to enhance your favourite side dish.
Often sold as Bakers, these bold golden tubers have a creamy texture and a rich buttery taste that makes them ideal for mash too.
Nectar is a brilliantly versatile variety that’s often found in both the All rounders and Bakers sections. It’s smooth and creamy, which is perfect for mash.
8 top tips for making creamy mashed potatoes
The key to creamy mash is the variety of potato used, cooking to just the right point and being firm but gentle.
- Cut your potatoes into even-sized chunks to ensure they cook consistently without any errant lumps.
- Start by adding your potatoes to cold water and bring to the boil. Using cold water ensures the outside of your potato chunks will cook at the same rate as the inside, resulting in a more even texture.
- Boil until tender then drain all the water off. Give them a couple of minutes in the pan with the lid on to steam any remaining water out.
- Mash first, before adding your extra ingredients.
- Using equal measurements of milk, cream and a knob of butter will add richness, flavour and a smooth, thick texture. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper and a handful of chopped herbs such as parsley, to make your dish pop.
- Using a ricer is also a great way to ensure super smooth, uniform mash if you have this handy piece of kitchen kit.
- Don’t overdo it – too much mashing can result in a gummy texture. If in doubt, opt for not overworking your mash and be gentle.
- Make sure you drain your potatoes well to avoid a watery, mushy mess. You can add moisture with milk, butter or cream.
Our best ever mashed potato recipes
Our classic creamy mash recipe is a true crowdpleaser and makes the perfect side dish to any Sunday roast or golden brown pie.
We also recommend trying our mashed potato with wholegrain mustard and parmesan cheese for a luxurious twist on the traditional recipe. You can also top with caramelised red onion to add a hint of sweet and savoury flavour.
If you’re making mash and want to cut down on your food waste, read our guide on how to make the most of potato skins for mouthwatering meal ideas.