Crispy Topped Mashed Potatoes

With a pancetta and sage crumb

Anyone up for a Sunday dinner switch-up? Swap your traditional roast potatoes for these creamy, buttery mashed potatoes topped with a delicious, crunchy pancetta and sage crumb. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not normally a fan of mashed potatoes – a highly unpopular opinion, I know. It’s a texture thing: eating a pile of mush doesn’t quite do it for me! Adding a crispy topping transforms mashed potatoes into something so delicious! I hope you’ll give it a try. This dish is inspired by Bon Appetit’s Mashed Potatoes with Crispety Cruncheties.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sides


For the mashed potatoes:
  • 700 g Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
  • 300 ml whole milk, or more
  • 85 g unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
For the topping:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g unsmoked pancetta, diced into small cubes (or bacon lardons)
  • 100 g sourdough or country-style bread, blitzed into crumbs
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped


To make the mashed potatoes:

  1. Heat your oven to 200℃. Place the potatoes in a roasting tin. Cover tightly with foil. Roast until very tender. This should take anywhere between 1 hour to 1 hr 30 mins depending on the size of your potatoes. Roasting rather than boiling the potatoes helps concentrate their flavour.
  2. Meanwhile, add the milk, butter, rosemary and thyme to a saucepan. Season very generously (and I do mean very) with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat, cover and let sit at least 30 mins.
  4. Once the potatoes are nice and soft, use a small knife to remove the skins. It’s best to do this when they’re hot, as it’s much easier. My hands aren’t very sensitive to heat, but if yours are I recommend using gloves and holding the potatoes with a tea towel.
  5. Pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large pot. Alternatively, you can mash the potatoes by hand.
  6. Return the milk mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat then strain it into the pot with the potatoes—that is, pass it through a sieve, leaving the solids behind.
  7. Mix until well combined. If you like your mash looser, you can add more hot milk. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and keep warm until the crumb is ready.

To make the crumb:

  1. Turn the oven up to 220℃. Add the olive and pancetta oil to a cold, large frying pan. Heat the pan over medium heat. Cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered out and the pancetta is beginning to brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs, sage and some freshly-ground black pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. You want the bread to absorb all of the pancetta-infused oil.
  3. Transfer the crumb to a baking tray and bake, tossing frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until deeply golden and crisp.
  4. To serve, transfer the mash to a large bowl or platter and top with the crumb. Serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram, tagging @zenaskitchen. I can't wait to see what you've made!

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