There’s little better than a pile of buttery mashed potato.
Unless of course you stir through fried onions, masses of grated cheese and then bake it until there’s a crispy top.
And then you end up with the glorious thing that is cheese and potato pie.
This started out as my mother-in-law’s recipe but I tweaked a few things. Though we still serve it her way – with gammon and green beans – it also makes a pretty good side to sausages too.
Start off with boiling a huge pile of potatoes in salted water – Maris Pipers are good for mashing. They’re ready when you can pierce them easily with a knife, about 15-20 minutes depending on how big you’ve cut your potatoes. You could also add in a couple of parsnips if you wanted to, they add a sweetness that’s really tasty.
While they’re boiling away, fry a couple of sliced (not diced!) onions in oil. Do this relatively slowly, you’re not going to caramelise them in any way but you want them to turn lovely and soft and translucent. Grate a fat chunk of extra mature cheddar. Sneakily eat some off the board too.
Once your potatoes have been drained, return them to the pan and sit them on the turned off but still hot hob for a couple of minutes to dry them out slightly. Chuck in a good knob of butter, season well and mash them up.
Scrape in the fried onions (if there’s any oil in the pan then pour that in too) and stir them through the mash along with the cheese.
You’re then going to tip the whole lot into a gratin dish, or pie dish, or whatever you have, smooth it out and then fluff the top with a fork. That way you’ll get lots of extra crispy bits. Pop it into the oven and bake until the top is all golden brown.
Serve with whatever you like. Izzy will tell you that tomato ketchup is essential with this but Rich and I like a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard.
A comforting, cheap and easy side dish to go with gammon or sausages. It's good on its own too.
- 1.75kg potatoes
- 2 onions
- 1 tablespoon oil
- A good knob of butter
- 200g extra mature cheddar, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes, until a knife pierces them easily.
- Meanwhile slice the onions and fry gently over a low to medium heat until soft and translucent.
- Preheat the oven to 200c / 190c fan.
- Once the potatoes are ready, drain and return to the pan. Pop over the off but still hot hob and leave to dry out for a minute. Remove from the heat, add the butter, season generously and mash until smooth.
- Add the fried onions (any leftover oil can go in too) and cheese and mix well to combine.
- Spoon into a gratin dish and fluff the top with a fork.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden and crispy.
- Serve with gammon or sausages and veg of your choice.
If you enjoyed this the sign up to receive an email with each new post. Keep up to date with what’s happening in our kitchen and discover some old favourites and new favourites too. Look to the right and you should see a sign up form for you to complete, it’s free and takes 30 seconds.