For speed and convenience, many cooks like to peel and quarter their potatoes and boil them in salted water when making mashed potatoes (often called just “mash” in Ireland, and known as “pandy” in Cork). But steaming them in their skins leaves them drier and thus better able to soak up the cream and butter. See the following variation for Cheddar Mash.
- 2½ lb/1.25 kg russet or other floury potatoes (5 or 6)
- 1 cup/240 ml heavy cream
- 6 to 8 tbsp butter, softened
- Salt and pepper
Put the potatoes into a large pot, with the larger ones on the bottom, and add water to come halfway up the potatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water begins to boil, carefully drain off about half of it, reserving 2 tbsp of the water you pour off. Return the pot to the heat, cover it again, reduce the heat to low, and let the potatoes steam for about 40 minutes. Turn off the heat; cover the potatoes with a dean, damp tea towel; and let sit for 5 minutes more.
Meanwhile, put the cream, butter, and reserved cooking water into a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Remove the potatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon and carefully peel them while they are still hot. Return them to the pot and mash them well while slowly pouring in the cream mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper and finish by whisking the potatoes vigorously.
Cheddar Mash: For cheddar mash, stir ½ cup/60 g of grated Irish white cheddar into the potatoes after adding the cream mixture.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings and 1/4 teaspoon added salt per serving.