You know the story, barbecue, lots of friends coming round and you want to spend time cooking on the coals and being a good host? This recipe is for you then. Easy to make and can be done in advance and kept in the fridge.


1kg new potatoes – diced into 1cm cubes, skin still on
1 small jar of mayonnaise (not all to be used)
10 chives – snipped into 5mm lengths
3 shallots – chopped finely
Fine salt


Boil potatoes until they can be pierced with a skewer but not too far so that they are fully cooked. With waxy potatoes we want to keep some of that texture. Drain into a colander and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. Put into a bowl and add the chives and shallot. Add 3-4 tablespoons of mayonnaise and gently stir to incorporate everything. Depending on how wet or dry you want the potato salad, add more mayonnaise. Season to taste. Clingfilm over top and into the fridge.


This is a great recipe from talented American chef, Jason Hill. This an excellent accompaniment to sausages or game dishes. Smoked garlic is a wonderful alternative.


What goes better with a great sausage than great mash? More mash of course.

This is a simple recipe that requires only one special tool, a food mill (moulin). If you don’t own one of these, then a traditional masher will do. The reason I prefer the moulin is that there is no pressure on the potato and it will accept the other ingredients more readily. Plus, it starts you off with a more fluffy texture so you get an idea of what extra you need to add.

Boil a large pan of water, with plenty of space still left for the addition of the potatoes. You need about 8oz or 250g of potato for each person. Here is the first secret here, don’t peel the potatoes, just make sure they are clean. Keeping the skin on stops them from becoming too crumbly and helps to retain their moisture. Drop the potatoes into the boiling water and leave. To test they cooked insert a skewer, once it goes through with little give, the cooking is done. Drain the pan and plunge the potatoes into cold water to make them easy to hand peel. The peeling should be just a case of taking hold of a piece of loose skin and pulling away from the potato.

Once done, cut into big chunks, then feed through moulin on the coarsest plate you have. If you don’t have a moulin, use a masher or fork, gently. Don’t be tempted to use a food processor, this will create a stodge. Add about a teaspoon of unsalted butter per portion. Stir, test texture and then add hot milk until you are happy with the consistency. Finally, add seasoning.

You don’t want the mash too moist, it still needs to be able to soak up any cooking juices, sauce and gravy.


Think of sausage in meal and most people are only a couple of mental jumps away from mashed potato. There are few things more comforting than great sausages, onion gravy and mashed potato. Joel Rubochon, the most Michelin starred chef in the world, gained one of his stars on the back of his mash. Now Joel isn’t going to roll over and give us his recipe, but we can start off the search with the key ingredient, thepotato. In supermarkets all over the country we see descriptions such as white potatoes, new potatoes or  even baking potatoes, but this does not help us to understand the desired properties of the spud inside the bag. Potato varieites are graded on a scale from waxy to floury. Waxy potatoes are the firm varieties that work well in salads or boiled whole, especially new, to go along side fish dishes. The floury potato crumbles a lot easier when boiled and is more suited to roasting and mashing.

According to the British Potato Council, the best varieties for mashing are:


Coming up soon are some great mash recipes, stay tuned …


This is one of those easy to cook / easy to get wrong dishes. With simple ingredients, it is all to easy to add extra items or tweak the method. Buttery potato cake makes a great side dish, especially with stews, rich sauces or pot roasts. A potato halfway between waxy and floury is best for this, probably Maris Piper is the more available choice.


2lb potato
2oz butter


Preheat oven to GM5. Peel and slice potatoes as thinly as possible. Set potatoes aside in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes while the oven heats.

Gently grease a cake tin or oven dish of appropriate size. Thinly layer potatoes and dot each layer with butter. Once complete, seal with a disk of greaseproof paper. This needs to go into the oven until they can be gently pierced with a skewer, probably about one and a half hours.

Serve in slices.

A couple of things to avoid are: par boiling the potatoes, not soaking the potatoes, overpowering with salt or cooking at too higher temperature.

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