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Turning leftover mash into potato cakes - can it be done?

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  • 01-12-2020 12:13am
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    As it says on the tin, is it possible to turn (rich and buttery) leftover mash into potato cakes?

    In the last few weeks I have tried:
    - Leftover mash, cheese and ham mashed in, made into blobs, dipped in flour, dipped in egg, dipped in breadcrumbed, (not very) shallow fried
    - Leftover mash, a few spoons of flour, cheese and scallions mashed in, blobbed up, dipped in flour, dipped in egg, dipped in breadcrumbs, (not at all) shallow fried

    Both times the resulting cakes were very fragile and inclined to fall apart. They were no fun to flip in the frying pan, and had to be eaten carefully. They tasted great though.

    Is mash my problem? Should I just use leftover mash for something else and cook spuds specifially for potato cakes?

    Or is there some secret I'm missin?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,099 ✭✭✭✭PARlance


    Tree wrote: »
    As it says on the tin, is it possible to turn (rich and buttery) leftover mash into potato cakes?

    In the last few weeks I have tried:
    - Leftover mash, cheese and ham mashed in, made into blobs, dipped in flour, dipped in egg, dipped in breadcrumbed, (not very) shallow fried
    - Leftover mash, a few spoons of flour, cheese and scallions mashed in, blobbed up, dipped in flour, dipped in egg, dipped in breadcrumbs, (not at all) shallow fried

    Both times the resulting cakes were very fragile and inclined to fall apart. They were no fun to flip in the frying pan, and had to be eaten carefully. They tasted great though.

    Is mash my problem? Should I just use leftover mash for something else and cook spuds specifially for potato cakes?

    Or is there some secret I'm missin?

    You need to get the egg into the mixture rather than dipping the mixture into the egg.

    - Leftover mash, egg(s), a few spoons of flour, cheese and scallions combined
    Rolled into balls, then flattened out and dip into flour before putting into an oiled pan.

    The egg will bind the mixture together, you're currently just using it to bind the flour & breadcrumbs.

    Never tried breadcrumbs myself, is there a need!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional West Moderators Posts: 59,850 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gremlinertia


    In our family we would never have used a rich mash, bare minimum of some milk and salt and any time i've tried to cheat and use up buttery mash i've had the same results as you, the butter breaking down during frying might be an issue?

    Oh also, once shaped into cakes, give them a good chill in the fridge


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,160 ✭✭✭lucalux


    From what I could learn from my granny's method, she'd never make potato cakes if the potatoes had gone cold. I think it changes the structure of the starches(?) if it cools down (not at all sure on the science sorry!) making it more grainy and prone to breaking up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,099 ✭✭✭✭PARlance


    lucalux wrote: »
    From what I could learn from my granny's method, she'd never make potato cakes if the potatoes had gone cold. I think it changes the structure of the starches(?) if it cools down (not at all sure on the science sorry!) making it more grainy and prone to breaking up?

    I don't think cooling would be the problem, I think it helps if you throw the mix into the fridge for 30 mins.

    Key would be not to mess with them on the pan too much, let them get a decent crust before turning.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,083 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    We've made potato cakes from left over mash. Wouldn't be buttery though. Only use milk in ours.

    If you like put some finely chopped onion in and found into rounds.
    Oil on pan, good and hot and dry til brown and crispy on one side. Turn carefully and crispy on other side.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    Echoes of my Lancashire childhood.

    Leftover cold mashed potatoes; mix in flour. A little milk. So it becomes like a potato pastry. Perfect. Roll out, as for pastry …...fry. Lots of butter atop while hot..

    They were a staple for us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭phormium


    It should work, is this not what everyone does with leftover mash :)

    Your original consistency of the mash might be a bit loose, do you add a lot of milk/butter when making it? I see on some cooking programmes what they call mashed potato looks more like a very thick sauce to me!

    PS just turned on the tv and on Virgin1 Ireland AM they are making potato cakes, so maybe have a look at that on the player if you can. Just saw her adding ham bits and other stuff.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 11,170 Mod ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh


    I have to confess, I haven't made mash in years.
    What type of potato is best? (don't say roosters!)

    I want to make potato cakes as above, but also try farls and gnocchi.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,108 CMod ✭✭✭✭Dizzyblonde


    If I try to make potato cakes with leftover mash they fall apart too, no matter what I add. Cooking extra and leaving them aside to be mashed with just a tiny bit of butter or milk is much better.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    Former chef here.
    We used to offer potato cakes on the a la carte breakfast menu where I worked.
    Always used cold, left over mash - ain't nobody got time to make fresh mash at 5 am.
    As other posters have said the key is it needs a binding agent - i.e. egg yolk- otherwise it will fall apart. We would add flour as well as it can be a bit sticky to work with.

    If making potato cakes from scratch the best way is to make what is called a Duchess Mix - It's the technique used for making croquette potatoes, piped etc

    Every chef has their own version but essentially allow the spuds to dry, season and mash them, allow them to cool but not go cold, this is the tricky bit, you want the spuds warm but not so warm they cook the egg yolk(s) you are about to add :P, mash again.
    I don't tend to add butter or cream/milk to the Duchess but some people do.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,822 ✭✭✭✭the beer revolu


    Like others have said, the key is in letting them sit in the fridge for a few hours to firm up. Ideally, if time allows, form the patties, chill, breadcrumb them and chill again before cooking.

    I always use leftover mash.
    I've never added egg.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck


    Bannasidhe wrote: »
    As other posters have said the key is it needs a binding agent - i.e. egg yolk- otherwise it will fall apart. We would add flour as well as it can be a bit sticky to work with.

    Is there any other binding agent you can use instead of egg? I have digestive issues with egg :(

    I've tried making them using mash cold from the fridge, but it didn't work out very well, so would be interested in trying it with a (non-egg) binding agent.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional West Moderators Posts: 59,850 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gremlinertia


    woodchuck wrote: »
    Is there any other binding agent you can use instead of egg? I have issues with egg :(

    I've tried making them using mash cold from the fridge, but it didn't work out very well, so would be interested in trying it with a (non-egg) binding agent.

    Mam's trusted method, room temp or colder mash, only salted, some flour and melted butter stirred through the mash, floured surface, shape as wanted, floured plate, into fridge for a good chill then fried in preheated buttered pan. Had to chat to her this morning about this!.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭Bannasidhe


    woodchuck wrote: »
    Is there any other binding agent you can use instead of egg? I have digestive issues with egg :(

    I've tried making them using mash cold from the fridge, but it didn't work out very well, so would be interested in trying it with a (non-egg) binding agent.

    Flour can work as a binding agent.

    If I had to make vegan versions I would mix rice flour with seasoned cold mash (mix well!), shape and chill them, gently fry in hot oil to seal and colour - turning only once to prevent over handling - and finish them off in the oven for about 10 minutes.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck


    Brilliant, thanks guys :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,099 ✭✭✭✭PARlance


    Might as well add, they're a great way to experiment with spices as well, have a look at some Indian recipes... great for kids to get them involved in cooking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,464 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    Another great way to use leftover mash is to make gnocchi.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,432 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    If you add flour to dry your mash Wil the flour then cook out in the pan ?
    Would bread fine bread crumbs be a better bet ..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tree


    Well, looks like there's no one right answer :)

    Yes, my mash is very soft, riced potatoes, plenty of milk and butter. It'll hold a peak but like, you wouldn't struggle to get it out of a piping bag like...

    I'll chance chilling them. The idea of keeping aside spuds before adding all the butter and milk would never cross my mind at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭phormium


    Sounds like your mash is too soft to start with, delicious as mash but not great when you need a bit of body for the potato cakes.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,822 ✭✭✭✭the beer revolu


    Markcheese wrote: »
    If you add flour to dry your mash Wil the flour then cook out in the pan ?
    Would bread fine bread crumbs be a better bet ..

    Gnocchi and potato bread/potato farls have flour mixed in with the potato and both "cook out" in cooking. I guess with the flour well mixed in with the predominant potato, the heat from pan frying is enough to take away that floury taste.
    I think this cheffy idea of "cooking out" flour is sometimes overstated. The chef books will tell you that a bechamel sauce need 30 minutes to "cook out" the flour. I don't think too many home cooks cook their white sauce for 30 minutes and I'm not sure their white sauces are any the worse for it.

    Chefs still go on about "sealing in the juices" when searing meat, despite that myth being well and truly debunked long ago.

    I take a lot of chef "rules" with a pinch of salt.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,935 Mod ✭✭✭✭Planet X


    Been a while........





  • Registered Users Posts: 3,930 ✭✭✭trashcan


    I’ve stopped boiling spuds for mash. Steam them instead now. Much better results I find. Also a great way to make oven chips. Cut your chips, steam them for about 5-6 minutes (careful not to over cook them) Toss in some oil and into the oven, works great.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,939 ✭✭✭✭ctrl-alt-delete


    What is this leftover mash people speak of 🤣



  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭Jellybaby_1


    I've made potato salad with leftover mash many occasions. However, for a hot dish I'd mix the mash with (raw or cooked) chopped onion also any leftover cooked mince and just a small amount of egg and seasoning, shape into patties and fry, turning them very gently. Very tasty. Oh I know, who has leftover mash or cooked mince, but I've been in that position a few times.



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