The Cottage Smallholder

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Easy creamed potatoes

Creamed potatoes

Creamed potatoes

One of our first culinary clashes was over mashed potatoes.
“To be good, they need to be hugely unhealthy with lashings of cream and butter,” Danny announced as he searched the fridge shelves for double cream.
“I like them made with a dash of milk and a large knob of butter.”
“Milk?” His eyes rolled.

We did agree on one point. White pepper is essential. I had always used black pepper but Danny introduced me to the subtleties of white on eggs, swede and potatoes. So we have a small oak  peppermill filled with white peppercorns that sits on the shelf above the cooker.

For ten years we made our own versions of mashed potato. We both used our Rolls Royce Gefu potato press and white pepper but then our paths diverged into widely differing territory. For years I’ve tried unsuccessfully to woo him towards my method. But he has stood firm until this week.

Last night I decided to add a creamed potato topping to a Cottage Pie. I peeled and quartered 450g of potatoes. Simmered the potatoes until they were soft (slightly softer than a boiled spud) and drained them well. Then I roughly mashed them with a wooden spoon added a large splosh of single cream (3 tablespoons) and a walnut sized knob of butter. Then I beat them using the handheld electric whisk. Within a couple of minutes I had perfect, lump free creamed potatoes. I scattered a topping of a tablespoon of grated mature cheddar before browning the top under the grill

Tonight was Fish Pie and I made the creamed potatoes again and jettisoned the cream. All that I added was a small dash of milk (1 tablespoon) and a walnut sized knob of butter, plus the grated cheddar topping.
“This potato topping is wonderful,” chortled D, as he reached for a second helping. “I reckon that it’s even better than last night’s.”

When I admitted that I hadn’t used cream he was astonished.
”I’m finally a convert. Creamed potatoes taste so creamy that they don’t need nearly as much diary fat as mashed potatoes.”

If you are cooking a pie for a special occasion, creamed potatoes are well worth considering as they look and taste much more deluxe than mashed potatoes. D is even thinking about getting a piping bag so he can play with potato and also decorate the individual fish pies that we make for my mum. He has the green light on this as individual potato croquettes are a secret passion. I suspect that these can be frozen in batches for those lazy evenings when even finding the potato peeler is a chore.

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  1. Peasant alert.
    I like em boiled with the skins on, and roughly mashed with butter and seasalt.



  2. I think the difference is creamed potatoes are much more liquid and smooth whilst mashed still has some texture so the amount of butter milk/cream you add. I don’t peel the potatoes completely, I like some grit and brown spots. I put garlic into boil with the potatoes then mash with butter adding some milk to get the right constitancy. If I am making cheesy mash I add wensleydale and small amount of spring onion.

  3. Jane aka:aromatic

    Usually milk and butter and of course black pepper. Have always used a hand potato masher.. but that handheld electric whisks sounds great… I hate lumpy mash and no matter how hard I try always end up with a lump or two… thanks for the great idea!
    Jane xxx

  4. Ooooooh! I must try it. I will.

  5. So what’s the difference between creamed and mashed potatoes? Are they creamed if they’re mixed with an electric blender and mashed if done by hand? I’ve always used milk and butter, mashed it all together by hand with a masher then given them a good, hard ‘seeing to’ with a fork to remove the last of the lumps. What are they? Creamed or mashed? I’ve always called it mash.

  6. magic cochin

    Our mashed potatoes are obviously Oz-style like Belinda’s! I sometimes used a vintage potato masher, but usually just ahand masher. Splash of milk, small knob of butter, freshly ground black pepper (mixed pepper at the moment cos I bought a bag of those mixed peppercorns from Daily Bread).

    I’m not sure about very smooth creamy mash or cheese on fish pie (puzzled frown)

    Celia 🙂

  7. Mashed potatoes here in OZ is butter or margerine & milk, mashed by hand with a masher.

    I often add a clove (or 2) of garlic to the potatoes right at the start of cooking time, the garlic dissapears into the mash without a textural trace, but gives the potato a lovely soft garlic flavour.

    I have read that using a hand mixer gets the lumps out, but I find giving the masher to my hubby does the same…

    He hates lumps in his mash, I couldnt care less, therefore, the mashing is his (only) kitchen job.

  8. I like the sound of this but I’m never sure about using an electric mixer on mashed potato. There is something which I find quite unpleasant in that gluey and shiny texture of the mash after the electric treatment. Also cream in the mash would have me writhing in agony all evening because of the lactose intolerance, although I don’t seem to be too bothered by butter. A little extra mature cheddar is often ok too as the quantity of lactose diminishes as the cheese ages, apparently.

  9. I’ll admit to making my mashed potato with butter (no milk whatsoever) and a little chopped up raw onion. Stuffed if I know why, it just tastes good.

  10. City Mouse/Country House

    Interesting – What I know (and make) as mashed potatoes here in the United States is exactly what you described as creamed potatoes! (Incidentally – I make mine your way, with milk and butter, instead of cream.) Awesome post, very interesting!

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