It had to happen.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that it’s not just about potatoes, though they can loom large at times – it’s my national food, after all. So I thought it was perhaps about time that I acknowledge the spud’s special significance by bringing a regular weekly spud to the table.
This was prompted by a few different things, not least by some of the comments on recent posts. Yes, there are a lot of potato lovers out there. Jen of Belly Rumbles thinks that roosters (and I’m referring to the potatoes, not the poultry) should have a superhero cape – Super Spud no less. And what can I say about Greg at Sippity Sup? A man who makes cheesecake but with mashed potatoes? The world surely needs to know about this! So Spud Sundays it is then. An effort to not let a week go by without scribbling something spud-related. Now, if this should prompt Greg to come up with a Spud Sundae, well and good. The range of the humble spud is indeed extensive. I do like to think of it as the veg that keeps on giving.
So, after that bit of momentous decision-making, I felt it only right and proper that I should have my own intake of Sunday spuds. That was when I discovered that the Daily Spud’s kitchen was, er, devoid of anything remotely resembling potatoes. Lots of other food, but nada on the spud front. Off with me to the local shop, then, where, in the interests of bringing variety to the inaugural Spud Sunday, I resisted my usual urge to buy some of those Super-Roosters and returned equipped with a bag of Kerr’s Pink. According to An Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), Kerr’s Pink are the second most widely grown potato in Ireland after roosters. A floury spud. Great for mash. Mash it was then. But not the regular kind, because my kitchen also yielded some celeriac, a great big mashable celery root, and celeriac and potato make such a lovely couple…
Potato and Celeriac Mash
I first saw this recipe described in a quarterly newsletter from Rachel Demuth, who runs the wonderful Demuth’s Restaurant in Bath. The celeriac brings a lovely mild celery flavour to the mash.
- 250g potatoes
- 250g celeriac
- 1 tblsp butter
- 0.5 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2-3 tblsp capers
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Peel and halve the potatoes (or quarter them, if they’re really large).
- Peel the celeriac (well, with celeriac, you don’t so much peel as slice off the outer skin, which can be quite knobbly in parts). Cut into chunks, somewhere between 1 and 2 inches big. Celeriac does tend to discolour once it’s been peeled, so, if you’re not cooking it straight away, place the peeled celeriac in water with a splash of lemon juice to minimise discoloration.
- Steam both the potatoes and the celeriac – should take about 20-25 minutes for the potatoes and around 15 minutes or so for the celeriac.
- If the capers you’re using are salted, wash them well and rinse. If they’ve been stored in brine or vinegar, drain and rinse.
- Add the butter, mustard, parsley, capers and black pepper to the potatoes and the celeriac and mash well together.
- Add salt to taste, though you may not need to add any if the capers were salted or brined.
- Serve as you would regular mashed potato. I imagine it would also work pretty well cold as a salad, it’s just never lasted that long around here.
- The original recipe describes this amount as serving 4 but I’d say it was more like mash for 2-3, unless, of course, you’ve got a ton of other stuff on your dinner plate.
- Any number of variations, really. You could, for example, add some chopped up spring onions or chives to the mash or leave out the capers and use as a topping for shepherds pie.