Put a big pan of water on to boil and place over it a steamer basket or colander. Totally scrub, however don’t peel, 1.2kg of potatoes, reduce into massive items and put them within the steamer basket, overlaying them with a lid. Prepare dinner for about 25 minutes or till tender to the purpose of a skewer – it ought to slide in effortlessly.
Whereas the potatoes prepare dinner, trim 2 medium-sized leeks, discarding the roots and the very darkest of the inexperienced leaves (the paler inexperienced leaves are good right here), then reduce the leeks into rings about 1cm thick and wash them, very totally, in chilly water. Wash 200g of spinach leaves.
Place a medium-sized saucepan over a average warmth, add the still-wet spinach and canopy tightly with a lid. Prepare dinner for two minutes, then elevate the lid and switch the spinach over, cowl and prepare dinner for an extra minute or two till the leaves have relaxed. Take away the spinach and put aside.
Return the pan to the warmth, add 75g of butter and let it soften. Add the leeks, cowl them with a lid and depart them to prepare dinner for about 20 minutes till comfortable. Maintain the warmth at a average degree and stir them frequently, so they don’t brown. When they’re prepared, briefly return the spinach to the pan.
Raise the steamer basket or colander to at least one aspect, empty the water from the pan, then tip the potatoes into the empty pan. Utilizing a fork or masher, crush them to a tough mash, then season. Tip within the cooked leeks and spinach along with any butter from the pan.
Crush 6 juniper berries in a pestle and mortar or spice mill, fry them briefly in 30g of butter, season with black pepper, then pile the potatoes into bowls and pour over the juniper butter.
You’ll be able to forestall the leeks from browning by laying a chunk of greaseproof paper over them, then overlaying with a lid to steam somewhat than fry.
Leeks maintain nice grit and soil between their layers. Washing them in a deep bowl of chilly water is much better than in a colander underneath operating water.
This recipe is a base to which you’ll be able to add different good issues: crispy fried nuggets of pancetta or roughly torn rashers of grilled bacon; items of smoked mackerel or hot-smoked salmon. You may additionally use the mash as a stuffing.
Observe Nigel on Instagram @NigelSlater