Obvi, gentle reader, there ain’t nothing wrong with straight-up meat and potatoes. But sometimes you just wanna switch things up a bit. Especially when you’re using a cheapo cut of beef, as I did the other night. I was grilling some none-too-tender, none-too-flavorful “steaks” (this is what I get for cheating on my Key Foods with a slightly closer, vastly inferior market) that had been halfheartedly rubbed in prepared churrasco seasoning, and figured that adding a spicy kick of jalapeno to the mashed potatoes would up the meal’s flavor profile—or simply sear our taste buds so that each gruelingly chewed bite of the meat would seem like a relief and not a letdown. Win-win, amirite?
I used 2 large new (purple) potatoes, peeling just enough to carve out any pockmarks and brown spots but leaving most of the skin on. For expediency and consistency’s sake, I roughly chopped them into cube-ish (not to be confused with Cubist) pieces and added them to a pot of salted water that I brought to a boil, then lowered to a vigorous simmer until the potatoes were fork-tender, maybe 15 minutes. (For mashed potatoes, I would always err on the side of cooking longer; it’s pretty hard to overcook them, but devastating if you undercook them.)