This recipe from Home-Cooked Comforts is a great way to make a meal out of simple mashed potato. Bacon, leeks and cheese make a particularly perfect trio, but you can add just about anything to this versatile dish.
1kg floury potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 small leeks, thinly sliced
80 g bacon or pancetta, diced
30 g butter
250 ml milk or single cream (or a bit of both)
1 egg, beaten
a large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
a pinch of paprika
90 g firm cheese, such as Gruyère, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a 24-cm round baking dish, well-buttered
Halve or quarter the potatoes depending on their size; they should be about the same to cook evenly. Put them in a large saucepan, add sufficient cold water to cover, salt well and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a skewer.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan set over a low heat. Add the onion and leeks and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes, until just browned. Season with salt and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC Gas 5.
Drain the potatoes and mash coarsely, mixing in the butter and milk. Season well and add the egg. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Stir in the leek mixture, parsley, paprika and half the cheese. Transfer to the prepared dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until well-browned. Serve immediately.