Mashed potato or mashed potatoes (American and Canadian English), colloquially known as mash (British English), is a dish made by mashing boiled or steamed potatoes, usually with added milk, butter, salt and pepper. It is generally served as a side dish to meat or vegetables. Roughly mashed potatoes are sometimes called smashed potatoes. Dehydrated instant mashed potatoes and frozen mashed potatoes are available. Mashed potatoes are an ingredient in other dishes, such as dumplings and gnocchi.
Most authors recommend the use of “floury” potatoes with a high ratio of amylose in their starch to achieve a fluffy, creamy consistency and appearance. The best-known floury varieties are King Edward, golden wonder, and red rascal in Britain and the Russet in North America. However, some recipes use “waxy” potatoes containing more amylopectin in their starch for a different texture or look; for instance, one pounded mashed potato dish from Yunnan cuisine (in southwestern China), which uses waxy potatoes to achieve a chewy , sticky texture.
Butter, milk or cream, salt, and pepper are usually added. Many other seasonings may also be used, including herbs (notably parsley and chives), spices (notably nutmeg), garlic, cheese, bacon, sour cream, crisp onion or spring onion, caramelized onion, and mustard.
One French variation adds egg yolk for pommes duchesse or Duchess potatoes; piped through a pastry tube into wavy ribbons and rosettes, brushed with butter and lightly browned. Some French recipes for pomme purée (potato puree) use up to one part butter for every two parts potato. In low-calorie or non-dairy variations, milk, cream and butter may be replaced by soup stock or broth.
Aloo bharta, an Indian sub-continent variation, uses chopped onions, mustard (oil, paste or seeds), chili pepper, coriander leaves and other spices. Alu pitika (Assamese: अलु पितिका) is a popular variation of aloo bharta in Assam, that may occasionally omit mustard and other spices. Alu pitika using roasted and smoked potatoes is especially consumed in winters.
So much for the introduction.
In short, I put some carrots and some broccoli between the potatoes. Because of the vibrant colors. When mashing, I add some milk and butter or margarine. And that’s all.
Many years ago I discovered the hash brown in New York, but it didn’t quite convince me.
But there is some difference in how we mashed it. And with what.
My mother got an ancient ‘apparatus’ from her mother when she got married. On the upper side, you put boiled potatoes, whole or roughly chopped, and pressed. Potato ‘worms’ crawled underneath. Of course, the machine was made before the Second World War and has long since been retired.
Then we had a kind of wooden press with which we pressed the potatoes in the pot in which they were cooked. Quite a tough job and the potatoes were not finely pressed. Lumps remained.
And later we got a modern metal press with a plate with holes. I still use this to this day.
Why? Because you can!
And like all the museum pieces that will appear on these pages, it is not for sale. So don’t bother to ask…