I’ve documented on this blog before how Heston always seems to pull it out the bag, even if his stuff isn’t perfect it tends to be the best ready made version you can get. The other problem that crops up with Heston stuff is that there is a peculiar ingredient billed, but then you can’t taste said ingredient see vanilla bacon. Generally though the overall flavour and quality of his stuff is good.
It was then, only a matter of time before Heston tripped up and created a duffer, and with this mash he has succeeded. Mashed potato is one of those premade products that is never really a success, even Pierre Koffman couldn’t manage it. What you usually end up with in a premade mash is a gluey mush, Heston has sidestepped that problem but in so doing created an altogether new one.
The instructions for heating up the mash are just for the microwave, as I don’t have one I had to improvise and heat it up in the oven (or rather Naomi, my girlfriend did, I wasn’t cooking it). I know you’re probably thinking “what on earth is this guy (or rather Naomi, his girlfriend) doing cooking mash in an oven, no wonder it didn’t go well” and I’ll forgive you for that, but I assure you that didn’t cause the problem. At worst (or best depending on your viewpoint) I was expecting the oven to turn my mash into a giant golden duchess potato, this didn’t happen, it was neither dry nor golden, it came out just like warm mash.
It appears Heston has committed the worst mash sin I know – overboiling. It tasted like the potatoes had been left in bubbling water for half an hour until becoming thoroughly waterlogged, then fished out, mashed and blended with anything fatty that was to hand. Looking at the ingredients those fatty things are full cream milk, double cream and Jersey butter. Now I am quite happy to eat a really rich mash but in this instance it just didn’t work. There was no potato flavour, there was just fat flavour with the consistency of watery cement.
Oh Heston my faith in you has been rocked, I’m sure you’ll turn it around with some product or other in the future, but when it comes to mash you’ve got some work to do.
Heston from Waitrose Mashed Potato 350g £2.99