How to make a good mashed potato.

Purée (c) Sea Wave shutterstock

Everything you wanted to know about mashed potatoes without ever having dared to ask for it.

Purée de pommes de terre (c) Elena Blokhina shutterstock

Mashed potatoes (c) Elena Blokhina shutterstock

The Numbers

The mashed potato is a regular at our tables: 89% of the French consume them, even if only occasionally. For two-thirds of them, it is most often homemade mashed potatoes (made with fresh potatoes).

Which potato should I choose for the mashed potato? 

Each potato expresses itself in its own way: there are three main families on our stalls, each one corresponding to privileged uses. For a good mashed potato, choose potatoes with the words “oven, mashed” or “special fries”. Their flesh disintegrates during cooking, so they are easily crushed.

The most frequent varieties are Agata, Bintje, Caesar, Marabel, Monalisa, Melody or Victoria. For a less smooth texture, like mashed potatoes, you can opt for “steamed, fried” potatoes.

Preparation tips

From cooking to serving, our tips to make your puree a success every time.

=> Cooking.

Before mashed potatoes, they must be cooked!

  • In the water, for 20 to 30 min with a cold water start to ensure that they are cooked through.
  • Steam steamer, couscous maker or pressure cooker, for the same duration.
  • Microwave oven to simplify life, in a dish adapted with a water bottom. Cover your potatoes with cling film and cook for 10 to 12 minutes at maximum power, depending on their size.

Whichever procedure you choose, check the cooking by pricking the tubers with the tip of a knife. The tip of the knife should dig easily into the tubers.

Purée (c) Sea Wave shutterstock

Mashed potatoes (c) Sea Wave shutterstock

=> Peeling

It is done while the potatoes are still very hot. Most of the nutrients are just under the skin. So peel the cooked potatoes finely to get the most out of them.

=> Mashed potatoes.

A simple fork – and a little elbow grease – is all it takes to make a tasty homemade puree.

For 6 persons, count 1.2 kg of potatoes, 60 g of butter, 10 cl of milk and a little salt. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and let the water evaporate for a few minutes. Don’t wait until the potatoes have cooled down to mash them with a manual potato masher or a vegetable mill. Gradually add the milk, butter and salt and serve immediately.

Did you know that?

The mill of Jean Mantelet Engineer and inventor, Jean Mantelet developed in his workshop in Bagnolet the famous metal mill which allows to reduce to mush vegetables and potatoes.

The patent of the Vegetable Mill is deposited on February 16, 1932. Two million copies were sold in two years… All thanks to his wife’s mashed potatoes!

Moulin à légumes (c) Regine Fabri CC BY-SA 3.0

Vegetable mill (c) Regine Fabri CC BY-SA 3.0

Caution: potato pulp, worked alone or cold, tends to become elastic and sticky (also called “strung”). In the same way if you use a blender

An advice The mashed potato does not heat up very well (although the microwave or steam oven have improved the result).

Some variations : 

The mashed baked potato is a wonderful basic preparation, which has inspired many chefs, famous or anonymous …

  • The shepherd’s pie. His name? A tribute to the pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, who campaigned with Louis XVI to develop the cultivation of potatoes in order to fight against famine. It is composed of minced meat and mashed potatoes. For some partisans, the only “real” minced meat is prepared from leftovers of pot-au-feu!
  • The aligot. Potatoes, fresh Cantal cheese, butter and a hint of garlic… This dish from Aubrac, nicknamed “the ribbon of friendship”, is the result of a solid work of all these ingredients to obtain a texture that is both firm and supple.
Aligot saucisse - Auberge Aveyronnaise - Paris

Aligot sausage – Auberge Aveyronnaise – Paris

  • The truffle. It comes to us from the Cantal. The recipe is similar to that of the aligot, to which salted bacon is added. Tasty and invigorating!
  • The brandade. In some versions, this puree of fish flesh (cod) with olive oil and milk is incorporated into mashed potatoes.
  • The Duchess Apple is obtained by adding 6 egg yolks and 100 g of butter for one kilo of puree. Small apples are placed in the pocket directly on the plate.
  • The apple croquette. From a preparation identical to the Duchess apple, small breaded rolls are made and then fried at 180°C.
  • The dolphin apple is made of a mixture of puree and choux paste (23 puree, 13 choux paste), worked into small fried balls at 160°C.

Click here to discover all my puree recipes.


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