For 6-8 servings you need

600g potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 2cm cubes

2 cloves garlic, peeled, one whole, once crushed

2 sprigs thyme, plus extra for garnishing if desired

5ml salt

100g butter

200ml cream

Approximately 400ml mixed cheeses grated (mature cheddar, mature gouda, ‘mature’ brie or camembert – I find this a use for slightly ‘over the hill’ soft cheeses!)

I find an excellent selection of cheeses at the Deli on Sweetwell Farm

To prepare

  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan, covered with salty water, add the whole garlic clove and the thyme sprigs, boil until the potatoes are soft, drain any remaining water and discard the thyme.
  2. Mash the potatoes, add the butter, the crushed clove of garlic and some of the cream, until they are creamy and no lumps remain. I use a potato ricer. NEVER use a food processor or blender, you will make ‘glue’!

4. Once the potatoes are smooth and creamy add the remaining cream and the cheese and heat slowly, beating continually. I find that a wooden or silicone spoon works well. Also use a pot that has a firm, heat resistant handle to avoid burning your hand!

5. It is ready when you lift the spoon and get long stretchy strands! But it must also be creamy! If the mixture is too ‘tight’, add some milk or cream to ‘loosen’ it. It should be more creamy than sticky.

6. Taste, add salt if necessary, but bear in mind that if the potatoes were well salted you may not need extra salt.

7. Serve hot, with plain grilled meats or vegetables.

8. You can refrigerate ‘left overs’. I stir in a few spoons of milk and reheat it in the microwave. The mixture will store refrigerated for 2-3 days, so make it in advance if you need to.

HINT: I find that you need to have some water between tastings to ‘refresh your palate’ when tasting rich dishes