Everyone should have this classic dish in their repertoire. The best mashed potatoes start with choosing the right potatoes, either oblong russets or yellow-fleshed potatoes, then boiling them gently, heating the milk and mashing to fluffy perfection. Hand mashing does take a little work but the results are far superior to using an electric mixer. Try some of the flavour variations to change things up and customize your mash to complement the rest of the meal.
Recipe by Jennifer MacKenzie, P.H.Ec.
Classic Mashed Potatoes
- 2 lbs oblong russet (baking potatoes) or yellow-fleshed potatoes ( about 4 to 5 medium)
- cold water
- 1 cup milk (approx)
- 2 Tbsp butter, cubed
- freshly ground black pepper
- Peel potatoes and cut into even-size chunks. Place in a deep pot and add cold water to cover. Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Season water with salt. Reduce heat and boil gently with lid ajar for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, heat milk in microwave on Medium-High (70%) power or in a small saucepan over medium heat, just until steaming. Remove from heat.
- Drain potatoes (reserving water for another use, if desired), and return to pot. Heat over low heat, stirring potatoes, for about 1 minute to dry of excess moisture. Remove from heat. Using a potato masher, mash in butter until incorporated. Pour in hot milk, a splash at a time, and mash potatoes, adding more milk as necessary, until potatoes are smooth and fluffy and the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.