The best homemade mashed potatoes you will ever have. Cooked from scratch and done the right way. Not boiled but baked. Silky smooth and luxuriously buttery. Goes a treat with steak, chicken, fish, pork, or lamb.
Best potatoes to use
Let’s look at what varieties of potatoes are best for mashed potatoes and why that’s the case.
Many sources suggest using russet potatoes. Also known as Idaho potatoes in the United States.
After many tests, I disagree.
Russet potatoes are starchy potatoes. They have a dry powdery characteristic to them. Making them better suited for french fries and roasted potatoes.
Making mashed potatoes from these results in a dryer less silky mashed potato.
However, they can still be used and will make delicious mashed potatoes. Just make sure to use a touch more milk than usual.
My preferred variety is the Désirée potatoes.
Red skinned slightly yellow flesh, great all-rounder, and for those that care. Very low maintenance, low water consumption, and natural resistance to most potato diseases which means no pesticide.
The texture is waxier and for that reason, some might ask the following.
Why do mashed potatoes get gummy?
Potatoes are full of starch.
They are some of the most starch-dense vegetables on this planet in fact. Containing roughly 20% carbohydrates.
When you vigorously mix or blend cooked potatoes they will become gluey or gummy because the starch gets released and you then keep on working that starch into a stringy mess.
Add water to the equation and this process happens even quicker. Remember the sourdough article I wrote? No? Go read it.
I explained that water activity is something to be mindful of in cooking. The more water. The easier chemical processes happen.
Boil your potatoes, and hello stringy sticky, not nicey mashed potatoes.
How to avoid it from being gummy?
Although it is not possible to remove all the water from the potatoes to make these silky smooth mashed potatoes it is possible to avoid the starch in the potatoes to suck up even more water.
We will bake our potatoes on salt to avoid that and remove even more water already present in the potato.
After that, we will not use a masher or a blender, or any other tool apart from a sieve in order to mash our baked potatoes.
Useful equipment for this recipe
- Heat your oven to 180C or 350F. Prepare a tray with a small mound of salt for every potato you want to bake. Just enough so the potato can sit comfortably. Bake the potatoes for about 50 minutes or until soft to the touch. Different sizes will cook at different times. Make sure the potatoes are soft, otherwise, they won’t mash.
- Melt the butter in a pan and keep it warm.
- When the potatoes are done. Prepare a sieve and bowl or small pot that fits the sieve. We are going to cut the potatoes in half while still hot and then press it through the sieve. This ensures that the potatoes get the least amount of agitation and friction and the starches won’t have an opportunity to become gluey. At this point, you will have some potato skin left. Do not throw it away! We are going to make some awesome crispy potato skins with them. Use them to shamelessly dip into your silky mashed potatoes or have it with a sourcream dipping sauce.
- Make sure everything is warmed up and ready and do not try and make mashed potatoes with cold potatoes or potatoes that have cooled down too much.
- Add the mashed potatoes to the butter.
- At this point, your mash will look like potatoes drowned in oil. It should. Finally, we will add the warmed milk and give the potatoes a nice mix through with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Season to taste and finish with a glug of olive oil, chopped chives, and freshly cracked black pepper
Tips for success
- Pick the correct type of potato for mash.
- Bake your potatoes until completely soft.
- Make sure all your ingredients are ready and warm when you mash them.
- If you let the potatoes cool down they will not be smooth so, press them into warm butter while hot out of the oven.
- When adding milk, make sure the milk is warm.
- Never whisk it or blend it, just gently mix it with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Don't forget to season your mash.
How to make crispy potato skins(Bonus)
- Heat up a pot with frying oil and heat to 180C or 350F.
- Fry the potato skins until crispy about 1 ½ minutes and dry on a kitchen towel. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and smoked paprika. If you feeling fancy. Sprinkle some grated parmesan, chopped parsley, truffle oil, or even a few gratings of fresh truffle, and voila!
- Serve with a sour cream dip. Recipe in the recipe card below.
- Meat - Bavette or ribeye steak, crispy pork belly, or pork tenderloin. Lamb koftas or slow-roasted lamb leg. Baked chicken breast or mushroomy butter chicken kiev.
- Fish - Salmon fillet, grilled angelfish, or garlic butter shrimps.
- Add other oils - Truffle oil or good quality extra virgin oils.
- Add roasted garlic - Roasted garlic adds a wonderfully rich flavour and aroma.
- Other herbs - Chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, or chervil are all delicious.
- Smokiness - Either smoke the butter, potatoes or use natural liquid smoke. A little goes a long way.
- Vanilla - Add fresh vanilla from the pod. Potatoes and vanilla are a naturally well-matched flavour pairing.
Frequently asked questions
Use any other natural fat or extra virgin cold-pressed oil. Do not use margarine or processed oils.
They are nasty for your healthy and terrible for mashed potatoes. Try some good olive oil instead of butter.
It lightens the dish a bit and adds lots of healthy fats butter lacks. Just take note that it will not be as luxurious and creamy.
Only if you do not add butter and milk. Plain mash can be frozen for many months stored airtight.
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Best Homemade Mashed Potatoes
For the mashed potatoes
For the mash
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place a small mound of salt under each potato and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until soft to the touch
- Cut potatoes in half and press through a sieve
- Add warm butter and mix through
- Add warm milk and mix again
- Season with salt and pepper
- Finish by adding chopped chives and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
For the crispy skins
- Heat a pot of oil to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fry the skins until crispy and golden.
- Drain on a paper towel.
For the dipping sauce
- Mix it all together and you're done.
- To take this to another level. Grate some fresh nutmeg into the potatoes when seasoning and a little bit on top.
- Can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days
- This recipe is not freezer friendly
- If you want to freeze mash do so without adding any butter or milk
- If your mash is not smooth enough pass it through the sieve one more time. Not all sieves have small enough holes.