I could eat homemade mashed potatoes allllllll day long. Seriously. They are awesome! Not to mention super easy to make and WAY better than any store bought or boxed version of mashed potatoes. To make mashed potatoes you can use any basic, high starch potato such as a Russet however, I think that Yukon Gold potatoes make the absolute best potatoes because they are so buttery and creamy. Trust me, use Yukon Golds and you’ll never go back to your old potato again!
There are a few key tips you should follow in order to get a good quality bowl of mashed potatoes:
- Cut the potatoes into even sized pieces – Irregular cut potato chunks will result in uneven cooking, some pieces will be mushy while others will remain too firm
- Start them in COLD water – If you start the potatoes in hot water they will cook unevenly
- Generously salt the water – The salt will be absorbed into the potatoes as the starch granules swell
- Drain them well – Soaked, wet potatoes won’t make for a good final product
- Add room temp or warmed ingredients – Cold ingredients won’t be absorbed as well and they will also cool down the potatoes
- Season them well – Potatoes that aren’t properly seasoned will taste bland and boring
- Don’t overwork them – If you mix them too much or over beat them you will release all of the starch in the potatoes and the result will be gummy, gluey potatoes
Personally, I don’t scrimp when I make mashed potatoes. I go all out with a lot of butter, heavy cream, and loads of salt and pepper. If you’re looking for a lighter version you can always reduce the amount of butter as well as replace the heavy cream with half and half or milk. The potatoes won’t be as rich but they will still be good.
- 4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 stick salted butter, melted
- 1 cup heavy cream, warmed
- Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and add a small handful of salt to the pot.
Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat down to medium high. Cook the potatoes until a knife can easily poke through them, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the potatoes well.
Using a ricer, squeeze the potatoes through into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the salt and pepper, all of the butter, and about half of the warmed heavy cream. On the lowest setting, mix the potatoes using the paddle attachment. Slowly drizzle in more heavy cream until your mashed potatoes reach the desired consistency. Be sure you don’t overwork the potatoes. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot.
**Tip** – If you prefer a more chunky mashed potato, skip the ricer and just use a potato masher to break up the potatoes. Also, if you don’t have a stand mixer, an electric mixer set to low will also work fine.
Variation – For garlic mashed potatoes add 1-2 heads of roasted garlic to the potatoes during mixing. Use 2 heads of garlic if you like a stronger garlic flavor.
To make the roasted garlic simply cut the top off of a head of garlic and remove as much of the papery skin as you can. Place the garlic heads in a tin foil “pouch” and drizzle them generously with a good olive oil. (I happen to LOVE the flavored oils from The Amazing Olive in Port Jefferson, NY) Sprinkle the garlic with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, seal the tin foil pouch, and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes.
When you remove the garlic from the oven, it should look nicely browned and roasted through. Let the garlic cool off for a few minutes and then very carefully lift one bulb at a time and squeeze from the bottom until all of the delicious roasted garlic is released. It should slide out VERY easily from its skin at this point. Give the roasted garlic a little stir to break everything up and then it’s ready to go!