Monday, 5 October 2015

Gerry Long's mashed potatoes - purée to some

Very yummy Long family mash - grace à mon père
The family mash is ever popular, and I am making a first go writing up the recipe here. Mostly it's done by feel, while you beat the potatoes hard with a fork, trying to fluff and crush at the same time, you start to feel when it's ready. I somehow managed to get the outline instructions from my father - mash was one of the few dishes he made from beginning to end.

The ingredients that combine to make the magic are:

butter or margarine
pepper and salt

Some people favour particular varieties of potato, but I won't pretend that I do, because mostly I just use what is hanging around. In our house you need about three potatoes about the size of a computer mouse per person, unless Kitty and Olivia are in, in which case you need four per person.

Once you get a taste for this mash you may find you want a larger quantity. Have a pint of milk ready and make sure you've got at least a serving spoonful of butter or marg.

  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Cook them in salted water until very well done - a fork stuck into one will make it fall apart easily.
  • Drain the potatoes and add the butter and some of the milk, a hearty pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. 
  • Mash with a large fork. Beat those potatoes and keep beating.
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg - I use freshly grated. Don't overdo it.
  • Beat a bit more, taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to.
  • Add more milk if the potatoes are stiff - it should be smooth but not at all runny. 
I've been given a potato masher that's a bit like a miniature pogo stick, with springs and everything. I do use it, but I always end up using a fork afterwards. Just to make sure - and also because I feel a bit like I'm being unfaithful to the source implement. The fork is the magic wand of mash.

I don't really get those rice masher things either.

I like to pile the mash into a bowl and use the fork to give it lots of texture, my favourite is a volcano shape. Assuming you've used an oven proof dish you can put it in the oven to get a crust,

That's it.

The proof of the pudding, as the saying goes, is in the eating. And the proof of the recipe is in the cooking. Two proofs at once in this case, as Kitty followed the recipe and shared it with friends. She is the barometer for authentic Gerry Long mash, her friends are the barometer for v yummy, apparently.

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