About this recipe:This plain mash is flavoured with a hint of bay and enriched with a little olive oil instead of butter.
125 ml (4 1/2 fl oz) milk
1 bay leaf
900 g (2 lb) floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:20min › Ready in:35min
Place the milk, bay leaf and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Heat gently until just boiling, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse while you cook the potatoes.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and pour over boiling water to cover by 5 cm (2 in). Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 15–20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
Drain the potatoes, shaking the colander or sieve to remove any excess water, and return them to the pan. Discard the bay leaf and pour the milk over the potatoes.
Mash the potatoes until they are completely smooth. Add the olive oil, then beat in seasoning to taste. Serve immediately.
Some more ideas
To make a parsley mash, omit the bay leaf used to flavour the milk. Finely chop 55 g (2 oz) parsley – or less if you prefer – and add to the potatoes with the olive oil. * Dill and lemon mash is excellent with fish or poultry dishes. Replace the bay leaf with the finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon. Do not strain the zest out of the milk. Beat 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill into the mash with the seasoning. * For a garlic mash, infuse 1 garlic clove, crushed, in the milk instead of the bay leaf. Strain the milk into the potatoes. * Cardamom sweet potatoes are delicious with grilled or roast poultry or meat, especially pork. Cover 450 g (1 lb) sweet potatoes, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) dice, with boiling water and add 1 bay leaf and 2 green cardamom pods, crushed. Cook for 10 minutes or until very tender. Drain, reserving 3 tbsp of the cooking liquid; discard the flavourings. Mash until smooth with the reserved liquid, then add a little freshly grated nutmeg and seasoning to taste.