Now that the R is in the month (for a while, but we’re still in denial), stew and kale stew are becoming our go-to filling comfort food. Read: anything with mashed potatoes. It seems easy to make, but a lot can still go wrong. Fortunately, you will no longer make these common mistakes when making mashed potatoes.
Thank us later (if you’re out of stew in your mouth).
The most common mistakes when making mashed potatoes
Don’t put salt in the water
Remember when we wrote that your pasta water should be as salty as the sea ? The same is true for potatoes. Potatoes absorb the cooking water. Read: if you season the water, you automatically season the potato as well.
That saves you a lot of seasonings after mashing.
Put your potatoes in boiling water
If you cook whole potatoes, it is – of course – important that the inside is cooked just as well as the outside. And it’s easier to do that if you put them in cold water and bring it to a boil than if you add them to water that’s already boiling. In the latter case you get a much too cooked outside, while the inside can hardly be made puree.
Think of it this way: when you step into a hot bath, your skin is also quite shocked by the big difference with your cold body.
‘Stamp’ with an electric mixer
Look, the thing is, there’s a reason people still mash potatoes with an old-fashioned masher. That’s not because they like it (because then there was already an invention for it) but because there is simply no alternative. Because anyone who has ever made mashed potatoes with an electric (stick) mixer knows that you get a kind of wallpaper glue as a result.
That’s because a mixer breaks all the fibers in the potatoes; fibers that are necessary for a perfect combination between soft and crumbly. Want. you. Not.
Using cold milk in your mashed potatoes
Adding milk will not only give your potato stew a finer texture, but also a milder taste. It is of course easiest to throw milk straight from the fridge into the pan, but we would advise against that.
If you use cold milk, your puree will collapse. Moreover, it is simply less well absorbed. So always heat your milk shortly before adding it – even if it doesn’t seem worth it for that little bit.
Waiting too long to serve
Mashed potatoes are delicious when the vapor comes off, but they also get cold very quickly afterwards. That temperature not only makes it less tasty, but also influences the structure: it becomes thicker and less creamy.
Serve the mashed potatoes or stew asap . That is different from, for example, rice, which has to ‘steam’ for a while after cooking.
Making mashed potatoes: how to do it
Do you want to make a velvety smooth mashed potatoes? Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and steam dry briefly over high heat. Then mash them with a masher or press and season with warm milk, butter, salt and pepper. Tadaa!