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Spud Sunday: Forty Shades Of Potato

Caramelised Apple Mashed Potato

Caramelised apple mash

It seems only appropriate that I should follow all of that by dishing up some spuds – in this case, a seasonal mash involving potatoes and apples.

Now, if you are in any way unsure of this combination as a runner, then you don’t have to take my word for it. Flicking through Neven Maguire’s [1] newly released and beautifully produced MacNean Restaurant Cookbook [2] (kindly sent to me by Gill & Macmillan [3], whom I think may be trying to kill me with cookbooks [4]) – I see that, amongst other potato sides, he, too, includes a recipe for potato and apple purée. Come to think of it, I daresay Neven, one of Ireland’s best-loved chefs, wouldn’t be averse to including more than one form of potato on his plates, and I can’t imagine but that he would do it very well.

This, by the by, is a recipe I originally did for the folks over at potato.ie, and you can see what I had to say about it over here [5]. The main thing you need to know when making this is that the spuds should be floury and the apples firm (the otherwise lovely Bramleys will tend to disintegrate too quickly in this case).

For the mash:

  • 800g potatoes, preferably a floury variety
  • salt
  • 100ml milk, or more for a looser consistency
  • 1 large clove garlic, lightly crushed
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp dijon or other mustard

For the caramelised apples:

  • 1 large or 2 small apples, such as Granny Smith, about 200g once peeled and cored
  • 2 tblsp butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tblsp cider vinegar

You’ll also need:

  • A ricer is always handy for mashing.

The Steps:

  • Steam or boil your potatoes in well salted water until just fork tender.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the apples:
  • Peel, core and chop the apples into approx. 1-2cm cubes. Place a wide frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add 2 tblsp butter. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the apple pieces and stir to coat with the butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue to stir and cook for around 10 minutes or until the apples have begun to soften and are starting to brown.
  • Remove the apples and add the cider vinegar to the pan, stirring to combine with any remaining butter and apple that may have stuck to the pan. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • When the potatoes are done, drain well and return them to the saucepan. Then either let them sit, covered by a tea-towel, for about 5 minutes or place the pan over a low heat for a minute or so while they dry out.
  • Add the milk to a small, heavy saucepan, along with the garlic. Bring just to the point of boiling, then remove from the heat.
  • Peel your potatoes if you haven’t already done so and put them through a potato ricer, if you have one, or mash with a potato masher or fork.
  • Pour in the melted butter and stir through. Strain the milk to remove the garlic and then stir into the potatoes. Add the caramelised apples and mash together lightly. Add the reserved cider vinegar, mustard and salt to taste.
  • This would be especially good with pork or bacon or perhaps some roast chicken.

The Variations:

  • Mash is endlessly variable. You could, for example, cook the potatoes with a few sprigs of rosemary or make the mash richer by using cream instead of milk.

The Results:

  • Serves 4-6 as a side-dish