Wow your guests at the holiday dinner table with the best mashed potatoes this year! These simple tips will have everyone raving about your mashed potatoes recipe!
Mashed potatoes are a staple over the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner just aren’t complete without a side of mashed potatoes.
It seems like mashed potatoes should be easy to make. After all, they only have a few ingredients! But if you use the wrong kind of potatoes, you can get a lumpy and dry mixture. If you don’t mash them right, you could end up with a glue like consistency.
The tips I’m going to share with you today are going to make your mashed potatoes the talk of the dinner table!
THE SECRET TO THE BEST MASHED POTATOES
Choosing the right potato is key
When it comes to a creamy mash, all potatoes are not created equal. You want a starchy potato like Russet or Yukon Gold. The waxier potatoes are not a good choice for mashed potatoes. They don’t break down as easily, nor do they absorb the dairy as well.
Food mill, potato masher, or food processor?
Don’t be fooled into thinking a food processor will get you the creamiest blend. When you put your potatoes in the food processor, it turns them into a gluey mess. Been there, done that. It doesn’t taste good either. My newest favorite way to make mashed potatoes is to use a food mill. It gives them them a light airy feel and the perfect texture. If you don’t have a food mill, then use a potato masher. But honestly, after trying all 3 ways, I feel like using a food mill will give you the best mashed potatoes. With my food mill, it took me a little longer than using my potato masher but I think it was worth it. Another nice bonus you get with the food mill is that it will strain your skins out too.
Brown your butter
Do you ever brown your butter before using it in cooking? It adds such a wonderful flavor dimension to mashed potatoes. As your butter melts, it will start to foam and change color. You’ll need to use a lighter color pan so you can watch to make sure it doesn’t get too dark. A telltale sign that your butter is ready is you will start to see little brown flecks appear. Once this happens, remove your butter from the heat. Some people will tell you to try to avoid adding the brown fleck sediment that settles at the bottom to your potatoes, but honestly, having a little of it in my potatoes doesn’t bother me one bit. Consider it a matter of personal choice. I’m not the type of cook that is going to take the time to strain that out. It’s worth noting that the brown butter will add a golden tinge to your mashed potatoes.
THE INSTRUCTIONS: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MASHED POTATOES
Scrub your potatoes to get any dirt off and place them in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water, and then salt the water. The potatoes will absorb some of the flavor from the salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes or so. You should be able to put a knife all the way through the potatoes when they’re done. Test all of the potatoes before draining!
Cut the drained potatoes into chunks. Some of the skins will likely be falling off a little…tear off the bigger pieces. Even though the food mill will strain the skins for you, it will make them easier to process.
If you’re mashing your potatoes, you’ll need to remove the skins yourself. Don’t peel them before putting them in the pot though. I know some people do that, but I feel like your potato gets more waterlogged and the skins do add flavor. When I use a potato masher I actually tend ot leave some of the skins on, because my family also likes the skins.
But you don’t get the creamy, elegant mashed potatoes that way. The food mill will give a light airy texture to them that lends itself to the perfect creaminess!
Brown your butter over medium low heat. Use a light colored pan so you can keep an eye on the color, because you don’t want to burn the butter. As soon as you start to see little brown specks appear, your butter is done. Add most of your butter and warmed light cream to your potatoes and mix together. Save a couple of tablespoons of the browned butter to add to the mashed potatoes at the end, and top with chopped chives.
- 4 lbs russet potatoes
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
- 1-1/2 cup light cream, warmed
- chopped chives (optional)
- Place potatoes in large pot. Add enough water to cover, and salt.
- Bring to a boil and cook until tender. You should be able to put a fork all the way through the potatoes.
- The skins will be falling off...go ahead and peel off the big pieces.
- Drain and cut potatoes into chunks. Put potatoes through a food mill to get an airy feel to your potatoes while it strains the rest of the skins out.
- Brown your butter over medium low heat. You'll want to use a light colored pan so you can keep an eye on the color, because you don't want to burn the butter. As soon as you start to see little brown specks appear, your butter is done.
- Add most of your butter and warmed cream to your potatoes and mix well...but save a couple tablespoons of the browned butter to add to the mashed potatoes at the end.
- Top with chopped chives.