Wait! Don’t run away! These Creamy Mashed Potatoes ain’t exactly “diet fare,” but they are devilishly delicious to eat. Need a dreamy base for your favorite gravies and stews? Need a sumptuous side dish that you can make ahead of time, and reheat on the stove top? Want some tips and tricks for getting the most flavor from your potatoes? This step-by-step recipe is for you:
First, select some appropriate music. The above is utter perfection.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Next, grab some starchy potatoes! You can’t go wrong with ‘Kennebec’ or the more common ‘Russet.’ The Russets you see pictured above were harvested from my very own garden. Potatoes are ridiculously easy to grow.
Now man up and peel one spud…
And roughly cut it into smallish (1- to 2-inch) pieces.
To keep the cut pieces from turning gray, immediately plunge them into a big (5 quart of larger) pot of cold water. Peel, cut, and submerge the remaining potatoes.
Man, do I hate to peel potatoes. Fortunately it’s the only hard part of this recipe.
Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer until the potatoes are absolutely/positively/unquestionably tender when pierced with a fork — about 30 minutes. If your potatoes aren’t truly tender, you’ll end up with hard lumps in your finished mash. And that’s too bad.
Strain the potatoes through a big colander, and then return them to the dry cooking pot. This way, we can mash them over medium heat. The heat below the pot will force excess water to evaporate from the spuds. Consequently our mashed potatoes will have a fabulously full (not watered-down) flavor.
I know that lots of folks like to whip their potatoes in a standing mixer, but honestly, if you’ve cooked your potatoes properly, and if you’ve mashed them over medium heat, the only equipment they’ll require is a common potato-masher.
Coarsely mash the potatoes, and then remove the pot from the heat.
Add 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter, and mash it in.
Also add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream, and mash and stir with the potato masher until the cream is completely absorbed. You’d be surprise at how much cream the spuds can take.
Finally, mash in some salt and freshly-ground black or white pepper. Don’t use “seasoning salt” — it will mask the fresh flavor of the potatoes.
Oh. For a bit of color, you can stir in some fresh, finely-minced herbs, such as parsley or chives.
In any event, be sure to check the taste and texture of your work. Too thick? Add more cream. Too bland? Add more salt.
Make-Ahead Note: Drizzle enough heavy cream over the potatoes to film them. Then cover the pot, and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, simply reheat the mash on the stove top, stirring in the top layer of cream, and adding more cream, as necessary, to achieve a soft, thick consistency.
Whether freshly made or reheated, you’ll find these potatoes make a tantalizing base for all kinds of yummy things. Here are just 2 ideas for you:
Beef Stew with Dark Beer and Chocolate (recipe here), and…
Make-Ahead Braised Short Ribs (recipe here).
Well. I hope you enjoyed our time together today. Now let me wish you a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, and a (champagne-fueled) Happy New Year!
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Here’s the printable:
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- 4 lbs potatoes such as 'Kennebec,' 'Yukon Gold' or 'Russet'
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground white or black pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes and then cut them into roughly equal-size pieces . Immediately plunge the cut pieces into into a large (5 quart) pot of cold water to keep them from coloring. Bring the pot to a full boil over high heat and then lower the heat, partially cover the pot, and let simmer until the potatoes are absolutely tender -- about 30 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and then return them to the dry cooking pot. Set the pot over medium heat, and roughly mash the spuds with a common potato masher. Mash in the melted butter, followed by the cream. Use enough cream to achieve a soft, thick consistency -- usually 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup. Mash in the salt and pepper. Taste carefully to correct seasonings. Serve while hot. (See the note below for make-ahead instructions.)