I goes a bit insane for mash, I do.
I think it’s a British thing. I’ve spent many a holiday in America and not once have I seen the Americans go up for a mashed up potato the way that we do. And that’s fine, everybody is entitled to their viewpoints, but I can’t – nor do I want to – imagine a life where a mash potato doesn’t play an important part in my life.
The mash I grew up on was always my favourite. Nobody does mash like their mother. I said ‘their’ because I’m sure you believe your mother does a better mash than mine (she doesn’t) but what I can say is that one day, my children are going to scream from rooftops that my mash is better than their friends parents mash. Subjective? Sure. But I offer variety with my mash.
The standard mash I grew up on from my mother was to boil the potatoes (obvs), drain them put them back in the pan with a splash of milk, some salt, some butter and some cheese. Mash away. Done. This is great and will forever be the kind of mash I crave, but I evolved this slightly. Evidenced in my Redcurrant Ginger and Mustard Sausage & Mash, I use this same template but I add Red Leicester and heat the milk and butter before adding it to the mash. Sneaky. I also do a mash with a little nutmeg where I add double cream and a little ricotta cheese for that extra silky creaminess.
But this mash is a game changer.
Not only are the potatoes whizzed in a food processor so that it is 100% lump free, but eggs are added for extra volume and feather lightness. AND TO TOP IT OFF – it’s then baked quickly in a hot oven to ensure a delicate crisp is added and that the mash puffs up like a cloudy peacock. It’s angels mash.
This will be the mash my future children will argue your future children about. I swear. So start making it now so that your children have a dog in the race.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel and halve about 4 small potatoes (I prefer red skin potatoes) and add to a big pan of salted water. Bring this big pan to a boil and drop to a medium – but still fairly passionate – boil for about 6 minutes until the potatoes are soft to a knife touch. Drain the potatoes and let them sit in the colander to steam for about 5 minutes while you chop up 2 spring onions.
Grab yourself a food processor and pour the potatoes in. Add a small dab of butter and sprinkle with some salt and some pepper. Blitz to a fine, gorgeous creaminess. Add the 2 spring onions and crack in two eggs. Clamp on a lid and process once more. Scoop this into a baking tin (I used a cast iron frying pan but any oven proof tin will be fine so long as it fits snuggly).
Slide the mash into the oven for a mere 10-15 minutes until the eggs have pushed the mash up to a fluffy, gooey cloud mountain with proud scorch marks on their peak.
You could serve this with any variation of meat (or vegetarian meatloaf as I am doing these days) however, moisturising this with a sweet slick of tomato ketchup and eating it with a spoon is fine by me.