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Loads of our fave family recipes involve lovely, creamy mashed potatoes.
Shepherds pie, fish pie and fish cakes are some of my daughter’s top meals, whilst I love gnocchi, homemade from mashed potatoes and slathered in cheese sauce.
Of course the brilliant thing about mashed potatoes is that it is SO easy to make.
So, perfect for busy mothers trying to make dinner FAST!
Want to know how you can speed up dinners using mashed potatoes even more?
Make it in advance and freeze it. Who knew? Well lot’s of people actually, but it’s a new one on me.
So I gave it a try… and I can report back that it works. Super well in fact.
I now bulk make a whole batch of mashed potatoes, use some fresh and then pop the rest in the freezer for future use.
A year on from my first attempt at freezing mash I’ve put together my top tips, so that you can start bulk freezing it successfully as well.
How To Prepare Mashed Potatoes For Bulk Freezing
What You Need:
- 8lbs potatoes
- A stack of small food freezer bags
I do about 8lbs worth of potatoes in one go. That’s roughly enough for four meals for four people. Plus this amount fits in my big spaghetti pan!
Peel and cut the potatoes into large pieces. If you cut them too small the potatoes will get soggy, which is something you want to avoid when freezing them.
Put the cut potatoes in a big pan of cold salted water. I know Delia swears by steaming them for the best mash but that’s a non-starter when you’re bulk cooking. I recommend bringing them to the boil and boiling them for 15 to 20 minutes.
Once cooked, cut into smaller pieces and very roughly mash them.
I hate lumpy mashed potatoes, but you’re not going for the finished article here. Plus rough mash gives you more cooking options as things like fish cakes aren’t so great with a fine mash.
Do NOT add milk, cream, butter etc! You add these when defrosting.
This part is key…
Divide the mashed potatoes up into small freezer bags, so that you just have one flat layer of potato in each bag. This makes the mash easier to store and means that it defrosts more evenly.
Cooking With Frozen Mashed Potatoes
You can either be super organised and remember to take the mashed potatoes out of the freezer in the morning for the evening meal.
Or you can pop a bag of mash into a bowl of hot water for a few minutes to start it defrosting.
Then tip the mashed potatoes into a pan with small amounts of butter and milk and let them defrost in the pan, stirring around until it is soft enough to start mashing.
The mashed potatoes will have absorbed water in freezing so you need less milk than if you were cooking from scratch.
I tend to go heavier on butter than milk and just add a little at the time as I need it.
If you’ve frozen the potatoes in small, flat bags, it should only take around 5 minutes to defrost enough for you to mash up nice and smooth and lump free.
And that’s it … just chuck the mashed potatoes in whatever you’re making.
Couldn’t be simpler 🙂