Cooking Basics Sides

How to: The Perfect Homemade Mashed Potatoes

December 21, 2018
Homemade mashed potatoes in bowl - featured image

Well, how are you doing so close to the holidays? Do you have your Christmas tree decorated, menu planned, gifts wrapped? Or are you skipping all the hustle and celebrating without stress? Or maybe not at all? As far as I´m concerned, I am taking Christmas extremely easy this year — I´m almost indifferent to be honest. Almost of course because of kids and stuff. Following the trend on Instagram (and because we are only here for a few days during the holidays), our Christmas tree is already finished and waiting in the living room, gifts are almost all wrapped. However, the menu is still something that needs to be done. In fact, this created the idea to show you something very simple and basic: the recipe for the perfect homemade mashed potatoes.

But before you all roll your eyes in view of this culinary simplicity — really good and silky creamy mashed potatoes are not always easy to make. It heavily depends on the preparation if this side dish is one of the highlights of your feast or only plays a minor role. That’s why it’s worth to pay attention to a few techniques. At the end of the day nobody wants to eat gummy potato chunks, right? So, are you ready?

Each preparation step has its own purpose and I also explain how and why you should follow them exactly the same way — it’s foolproof, you’ll enjoy creamy and fluffy homemade mashed potatoes every time!

Homemade mashed potatoes in bowl in backlight

Step 1: Peel, Cut and Wash

The key to fluffy potatoes is the proportion of starch in the finished dish. Starch molecules have the characteristic of thickening and becoming sticky in the presence of hot liquids. To avoid this and to control the starch content, we need to peel the potatoes, cut them into pieces of about 2 cm in size. This gives us a larger surface to cook the potatoes efficiently, but also to soften the pectin in the cell walls. Rinse the potato pieces well with water at least twice; once with cold water before boiling , once with hot water after boiling. This removes excess starch which prevents the mashed potatoes from becoming a sticky mass at the end of the process.

Step 2: Mash

The potatoes are best mashed with the help of a food mill (* Affiliate Link). This gentle procedure ensures that no additional starch is poured out. The holes of the mill also ensure that the potato particles are separated from each other and are not too dense and sticky. Do not use a blender to crush the potatoes: this destroys the cell structure of the potatoes and you get a mushy mass instead of fluffy and creamy mash.

Step 3: Add the butter

To make our potatoe mash light and airy, we use butter on room temperature! The fat molecules bind the starch molecules — this prevents the described interaction with the liquid in the milk. For this reason, it is important to add the butter before the milk! This also guarantees the creamy texture. The amount of butter varies according to taste, but generally you can estimate about 2 tablespoons of butter for 1 kg of potatoes.

Step 4: Add the milk

As a final step, we add warm milk and gradually stir it in to create an airy puree. Take your time and work slowly, the starch needs time to absorb the liquid fully in order to avoid getting sticky.

There are a few good ways to make creamy mashed potatoes even without milk. For those of you who simply do not want to use milk, adding butter is enough. In case of dairy intolerance, you can also use chicken broth. Finally, for a vegan version without any animal products, you can use extra native olive oil, almond milk, soy milk or oat milk — however, this can affect taste on one and consistency on the other hand.

This creamy side dish is of course not only suitable for feasts, but is also the perfect companion for many chicken dishes. What is our favorite way to make mashed potatoes? Do you have a special tip to make the dish perfect?

Homemade mashed potatoes in bowl

Perfect homemade mashed potatoes

The perfect potatoe mash is airy, creamy and fluffy and with this recipe it is always a success!
5 from 1 vote
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Vorbereitung / Prep: 20 minutes
Kochen / Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Portionen / Servings: 4 servings
Author: Patricia Spieker

Zutaten / Ingredients

  • 1 kg potatoes high-starch, floury
  • 40 g butter on room temperature
  • 200 ml milk warm
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • salt, pepper

Optionally:

  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and pressed
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil

Anleitung / Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into pieces of about 2 cm in size. In a large saucepan put on lightly salted water for cooking.
  • In a bowl, rinse the potato pieces two to three times well with cold water until the water is clear. Then add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until they can be easily cut with a fork (takes about 15 minutes).
  • Drain the boiled potatoes in a colander and rinse with hot water to remove the remaining starch.
  • Purée the potatoes by using a pass mill or a large sieve.
  • Add the warm butter and stir well. Take your time, so that the fat can connect well with the starch molecules. If the potatoes get cold, you can warm them again carefully on the hob at any time.
  • Heat the milk in the microwave and stir in the mashed potatoes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • If desired, you can add the other ingredients now: parmesan cheese, garlic or truffle oil give the mash a great and special taste!

Notes

Sometimes it´s not so easy to find the right potatoes for the given purpose. For mashed potatoes and potato dough, floury and high-starch types suit best. In case of doubt, you can buy at a designated vegetable store — they will be happy to advise you to ensure you choose the right potatoe type!

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