Let’s go back to basics, what is more simple and delicious than a potatoes purée? The potatoes where introduced in Europe in 1534, but in those days, the variety was barely edible, it is only in 1769 that after some research Antoine Parmentier, by order of king Louis XVI, managed to really introduce the potato to the world. Purée back then, was made with a lot of different vegetables, but it is only after the French revolution that appears the first historical traces of the potato purée.
Here is one version…
The ingredients for 4 persons:
1 pound of potatoes
1/2 a stick of butter
Black or white pepper
You will need a large pan, a potato masher, a Microplane spice grater and a metal skewer or a vegetable knife.
Peel and cut you potatoes in large chunks, place in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water.
Bring to the boil.
When the water is hot, add one tsp of salt .
Reduce the eat and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Check if you need to add water, it should not be dry. If you need, add boiling water.
Plant the metal skewer (or the knife) through a couple of potatoes, if they are cooked, they will offer no resistance.
Drain the water but keep the potatoes in the pan.
Add the butter, the pepper, the ground nutmeg (there was slat in the water, we will check after if we need to add more)
With the potato masher, mix well and reduce the potatoes in purée.
Check the taste and add more seasoning if needed. As you can see from the picture, I use a fair amount of nutmeg, try with less first and add as much as you like.
At this stage you could add a whole egg, or just and egg yolk to give colour, or some creme fraiche. Try and see what you prefer…. I only use butter, because it keeps a firm consistence and a fair amount of butter makes the purée very creamy.
Serve it while it is hot, it is the perfect side dish with any dish that comes with a sauce.