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Classic, buttery mashed potato

A true classic and side-dish that you can dress up or dress down, adapt to your tastes with extra flavourings and add to a variety of dishes. Incredibly simple, here's our version of fluffy, buttery, classic mashed potatoes. My top tip for keeping it soft, smooth and airy is to use a good hand-held masher. Avoid food processors or hand-stick blenders - they activate the starch which can make mashed potatoes texture heavy and PVA-glue like.

Total time to make : 20 minutes Time to prep : 5 minutes

Servings : 6


1kg potatoes (Marie Piper, Russets or if you're in Australia - the soil covered Sebago's)

1 tsp salt

60g butter

90ml milk or double cream*

Salt and pepper to season

Melted butter to serve, chopped herbs such as parsley or chives


  1. Peel your potatoes and cut them into quarters. For extra large potatoes, you might need to chop them into 6 or 8, but keep them all the same size. Put the chopped and peeled potatoes into a large saucepan of cold water, covering them by about 1 inch

  2. Put the saucepan onto the hob and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle boil/simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, until a fork easily pricks right through the potato chunks, super soft potatoes make them easier to mash! Drain and tip back into the pan, remove from the heat

  3. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter and milk/cream until it's melted together. Pour this into the drained potatoes and then use your hand masher to mash together for 2 - 3 minutes. The potatoes should be very easy to mash, add a few tbsp more of milk or cream if you want to loosen the mixture

  4. Once mashed, take a wooden spoon and beat the mashed potatoes, this 'fluffs' them up before serving. Taste to season and serve with a drizzle of melted butter

Flavours adaptions

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced, warmed through the butter and milk mixture for garlic mash. This is great with a few tbsp's of finely grated parmesan stirred through too

  • 4 tbsp sour cream or cream cheese

  • Grilled bacon or pan-fried chorizo

Good to know

  • We want the potatoes to be really soft when we drain them, not to hold their bite or shape as if we were eating them whole. The fork should glide through them when they're ready

  • Warming the butter and milk is what helps the mash come together so quickly and smoothly, don't skip this step!

  • Whole milk works best here for both texture and flavour. You can use double ('thickened' in Australia) cream or I prefer to use a 50:50 mix of both. If you need to loosen the mixture, add a few tbsps of milk

  • To cook ahead, complete until the end of Step 2. When you're ready to make the mash, simply warm the butter and milk or cream and then finish the recipe

  • This makes more than enough to cover a 9 x 13" shepherds or cottage pie


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