How to make mashed potatoes, but not as you know it

It's mashed potatoes, but not as you know it. Make mashed potatoes with a twist this weekend.

There are few things more comforting than a giant bowl of mashed potatoes. It is decadent and indulgent, delicious all on its own or as a side. But what if you wanted to make mashed potatoes with a difference?

You might think that there’s only one way to make mashed potatoes, but that’s not the case. If you have a bit of extra time over a weekend, there is a rustic mashed potato recipe that’s a bit different to what you’re used to. The way this version of mashed potatoes is prepared gives a completely different texture and taste to the dish – and it can even be served as a meal all on its own.

Rustic mashed potatoes: What to do

For about four portions, take six large potatoes and give them a scrub. Do not peel or remove the skins completely.

Dry the potatoes and place on a baking tray. Poke a few holes in the potatoes with a fork. Coat the potatoes in a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake the potatoes in an oven preheated to 220 degrees Celsius.

Keep an eye on the potatoes, testing for doneness with a knife every 30 minutes. Turn them over if you notice one side is cooking faster than the other. It will take around an hour and 15 minutes for the potatoes to be cooked all over. You know the potatoes are cooked once a knife glides through easily.

Once cooked, you can prepare your rustic mashed potatoes in one of two ways. If you don’t mind the skins, you can simply leave them on while crushing with a masher. If you don’t like the skins, leave the potatoes to cool to the touch. You should be able to handle the potatoes without getting burnt. Cut the potatoes in half and scrape out the inside into a large mixing bowl before mashing.

 In a pot, melt 150 grams of butter and add 100ml of milk on a low heat. Keep the heat low – you do not want anything to simmer or boil. Once melted and combined, start gently adding the mix to your potatoes. Keep adding and mixing. If the mix is too firm, add a bit more milk.

Once you have a rustic texture, you can serve with a blob of butter and more salt and pepper to taste.

If you want to make your mashed potatoes go further, add some chopped spinach through the mashed potatoes while still hot. You can also add fresh or dried herbs, chopped garlic or a bit of nutmeg.

Spring onions or leeks – gently melted in some butter before adding in – also work really well.

Adding some grated cheese – cheddar or gruyere works best – will also take your mashed potatoes to the next level and goes really well with the spinach mix.

Finally, you can finish your mashed potatoes by returning it to the tray and baking it in the oven (or under the grill) until the top goes brown and crispy.

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Staff Reporter