The key to the fluffiest mashed potatoes begins with using the proper potatoes and keeping them as dry as possible during cooking – The secret is to steam your potatoes – together with the best tool for the job called a ricer.
The best potatoes to use are Yukon Gold – or – russet or Idaho potatoes. In South Africa they are the very floury large round ugly dirty skinned potatoes – Those lovely potatoes that burst open in curries and stews. They also have the highest starch content which makes them the perfect potato to use.
Add NO salt whatsoever to your potatoes or they will NOT soften up! Season only once they are fluffy soft.
Potatoes steam very well in a microwave steamer which is built for this purpose and is what I use.
You may steep any flavourings you like in your milk, like rosemary, garlic or any aromatics you wish to add to your mashed potatoes.
The amount of the below ingredients should take about 20 – 25 minutes to steam.
small pinch black or white pepper – which ever you prefer
rosemary, garlic or any aromatics you wish to add – Optional
nutmeg – I love adding freshly grated to taste
Peel, cut and halve the potatoes or you may have them in pretty big chunks.
Find a microwave steamer if you have one or you may use a conventional steamer or pot designed for the purpose of steaming.
Set the steamer basket over about 2 inches of boiling water.
Arrange potatoes in steamer basket in a single layer so they cook at a uniform rate.
Using thongs place your softened steamed potatoes into the centre of your ricer called the hopper. Fill the hopper to about 2/3 rd’s of the way and press down with the handle like a kind of like a citrus press and all your wonderful steamed potatoes will rice out at the bottom and sides through the round holes of your ricer or you may use a colander or a large sturdy sieve (placed over a bowl) using the flat back-end of a tablespoon, press through one potato at a time. If using a sieve or colander do not overload it.
Do NOTuse a food processor, a blender or even a hand-held mixer, because they will shear through the potatoes and starch granules creating a very gluey - gooey mashed potatoes so best avoid these machines!
Melt butter in milk. Add your seasonings and herbs like rosemary, garlic, pepper and any other aromatics you would like to add. Swirl the heated liquid around to dissolve the salt into the liquid and to infuse the herbs because you don't want to over-mix your ready riced potatoes.
Pour your heated buttermilk mixture over your riced potatoes and give it all a gentle stir so that it is nicely combined - Do NOT over stir or they will turn gloppy and or gluey!
Serve in a nice warmed bowl so that your mashed potatoes don't get cold.
There you have it - 3 simple tricks to serve the fluffiest mashed potatoes EVER!