Chatelaine Kitchen

How to make the best roasted and mashed potatoes

These two simple tips (and easy recipes) will make you the reigning queen of mashed and roasted spuds.


The best mashed potatoes. (Photo, Angus Fergusson.)

We have an ongoing fight in our house: I like mashed, he likes roasted. We trade off, usually, and the good news is, there are never any losers. In any case, here’s the best way to make each.

Note: There are many types of potatoes. Just get Yukon Golds — they’re great for boiling, mashing, baking and roasting and they’re usually grown in Canada.

1. Mashed potatoes
It’s all about the ricer.

  • Boil whole, peeled potatoes in well-salted water until they are beyond tender.
  • Drain and let steam in the colander for a few minutes.
  • Pop potatoes into a potato ricer one at a time and press back into the cooking pot.
  • Stir a few lumps of butter, a bit of milk or cream and a good dose of salt into the riced potatoes and stir well. Taste for seasoning.

Tip: You will need far less cream and butter than usual.



Crispy roasted potatoes

The best crispy, roasted potatoes.

2. Roasted potatoes
Good ones take time — and lots of it.

  • Boil peeled, halved potatoes until completely tender. Use well-salted water.
  • Pour ¾ inch vegetable (not olive!) oil into a shallow baking dish and add a few whole, peeled garlic cloves, maybe a sprig of rosemary. Heat at 400F. Once it’s plenty hot, add the potatoes in a single layer. Do this carefully – you don’t want to get splashed by the hot oil.
  • After about 15 min, turn the potatoes then continue roasting. Continue turning and roasting until all sides are deeply golden and crispy.
  • Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out of the oven.

Tip: The whole boil-and-roast process takes at least an hour and half, but it’s entirely worth it. So start early!