Chef Wendy

How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Here are our top tips for making delicious mashed potato in your own kitchen!

Light, soft, fluffy mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, and so good served with stews, casseroles, roasts and other hearty winter foods. Here are our top tips for making perfect lump-free mash at home:

1. It’s important to choose the right type of potato. A ‘waxy’ small potato is not suitable for making mash.  Choose a big, dry-fleshed, ‘floury’ potato instead. When you buy your potatoes, make sure the packaging says ‘Suitable for Mash or Baking’.   

2. Peel the potatoes before you boil them, using a potato peeler or a very sharp knife. Cut the peeled potatoes into large 3cm x 3 cm cubes, or rectangles about the size of a matchbox. If you are not going to boil them right away, submerge the cubes in a big bowl of water to which you have added the juice of half a lemon. This will prevent the potato pieces from going brown. 

3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and add a teaspoon of salt. Add all the potato pieces in one go, cover the pot with a lid, and turn up the heat under the pan.  When the water begins to boil, remove the lid and cook the potato pieces at a rolling boil for 7-12 minutes, or until they are very soft, but not yet falling apart or collapsing. (If you’re not sure whether they have cooked through, stick the tip of a sharp knife into the biggest piece of potato.  If the knife tip goes straight through, and it feels very soft, offering no resistance, the potato pieces are ready!)

4. Tip the potato pieces into a colander or large sieve placed over your sink and let all the water drain off. Leave the potato chunks to drain for at least 7 minutes (preferably 10) – this will allow them to dry out.

5. Put the pot in which you boiled the potatoes back onto the stove, turn up the heat to medium-low and add a few tablespoons of margarine or butter.  When the margarine has melted, add all the cubes of cooked potato and – using a potato masher – gently mash the cubes to create a very smooth mixture. Now add some cold milk (or a mixture of milk and cream), a tablespoon or two at a time, stirring gently until you have a light, soft mash.  Don’t allow the mash to boil, or it will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

6. If you have a potato ricer, you can push the cooked potato pieces through the ricer, and then add them to the pan with the margarine and milk/cream.

7. Don’t over-beat the mash, and don’t whizz it with a stick blender or food processor – this will result in a sticky, ‘gluey’ mess.

8. When you have a perfectly smooth, fluffy mash, season it to taste with salt, pepper, Aromat, dried herbs, garlic, or any other flavours of your choice. We recommend stirring in the contents of a KNORR Chicken or Vegetable Stock Pot for great depth of flavour!

9. If you’re making your mash in advance, cover the surface of the mash with clingfilm, or a circle of greaseproof kitchen paper that you’ve rubbed all over the underside with margarine. This will prevent a ‘crust’ from forming. 

10. When you’re ready to serve your mash, heat it very gently over a low flame on your hob, or place the pot in a 180 ºC oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated right through.

11. Serve with a stew, curry or casserole, or as a side dish for beef, lamb or chicken, with a delicious KNORR gravy poured all over the mash.  

12. Here are our three favourite whatsfordinner recipes featuring mash: