River Cottage Thyme and Caramelised Onion Mash

River Cottage Thyme and Caramelised Onion Mash


With permission from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls’s River Cottage Every Day. P.311

This is delicious – there is nothing better to go with sausages, chops or roast lamb. It’s also great with grilled or roasted fillets of robustly flavoured fish, such as mackerel, bream or gurnard.


2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 large onion or 4-5 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1.5kg floury potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
50g butter or 50ml rapeseed or olive oil
100ml full fat milk or half milk and half double cream – warmed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the onion or shallots and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper, stir well as the onion starts to sizzle, then turn the heat right down and cook gently for 20 minutes, until soft and golden. Add the chopped thyme and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
Taste – the onion should be very sweet. If not, cook for a little longer.
It needs to take on a good golden colour, but don’t let it start to go crisp and brown. Taste for seasoning at this point too.
Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water until tender, then drain and leave to steam dry for a few minutes. Heat the butter or oil and milk in the pan in which the potatoes were cooked, then add the potatoes and plenty of seasoning and mash until smooth. Mix in the caramelised onion, check the seasoning and serve.

River Cottage Every Day © 2009 by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

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