Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are looked upon as a simple, straightforward dish, with any old potato being used for the recipe. I think very differently. During the seasons, various potatoes are available, but I have always found that Maris Piper are easily obtained and purée very well. The rest, of course, is taking care in the cooking and finishing of the dish.


  • 900 g (2 lb) potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 100 g (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) double cream or milk
  • freshly grated nutmeg


Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked, about 20–25 minutes depending on size. Drain off all the water and replace the lid. Shake the pan vigorously which will start to break the potatoes. Add the butter and cream or milk a little at a time, while mashing the potatoes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. The potatoes will now be light, fluffy, creamy and ready to eat.


Many different flavours can now be added for any particular dish. About 50–85 ml (2–3 fl oz) of olive oil can replace the butter, or 1–2 tablespoons of Pesto Sauce can be added for a different taste. To the basic mashed potato recipe, I sometimes like to add the juice of 1 lemon and 1–2 tablespoons of finely chopped raw shallot. This works really well with fish, especially the Soused Mackerel.