Good Old Fashioned Mashed Potatoes
I am obsessed with potatoes. I like them fried, roasted, smashed, and boiled; I like tater tots, latkes, french fries, hash browns, potato soup, and big Russets baked whole with butter and sour cream. My aunt makes kitschy cheese potatoes topped with corn flakes at the holidays, and I am addicted to them. I like all the potatoes, all the time. And the crème de la crème, for me, is the mashed potato. And while all mashed potatoes are delicious (with the exception of instant ones—ew), these ones are the best ones. They are rich, tangy, buttermilky, rosemary-and-garlic-infused, and flecked with fresh-ground pepper, and they are my favorite thing about Thanksgiving. I hope you like them too, but if you don’t, hey, more for me.
If it ain’t broke…
At Thanksgiving, it’s great to have a mix of classic favorites and fresh, innovative dishes. These potatoes fall squarely into the classic category. There is nothing ground-breaking or new about them, and I’m pretty sure I got the recipe from my grandmother. They’ve been delicious for decades, and they still are.
The key is this: The consistency is up to you. I like mine super chunky, with big bites of whole potato, but if you like ’em smoother, just keep on mashing, or whip with an immersion blender for a velvety texture. Up to you.
Time: 40 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Side dish for about six people
Drink: Thanksgiving wine advice, right this way.
1. Partially peel your potatoes
I like to peel my potatoes roughly, leaving a bit of skin on each one for texture. If you don’t like the skins, peel them all the way.
2. Boil potatoes
Put a large pot of water on the stove and add your potatoes. Turn the heat up to medium-high and boil for about 20 minutes, or until you can easily slide a fork through.
While the potatoes cook…
3. Make butter infusion
In a small pot over low low heat, melt a stick of butter. As the butter is melting, add rosemary and whole clove of smashed garlic.
Let the butter melt and simmer slightly on the edges. Turn the heat off and let it sit until the potatoes are done.
4. Mash potatoes
Remove the potatoes from heat, drain, and return to the pot.
With a wooden spoon, start to mash ’em up.
5. Strain butter infusion; add to potatoes
Hold a fine-mesh strainer over the potatoes, and pour the melted butter through. Discard rosemary and garlic. (If you don’t have a strainer, scoop the rosemary and garlic out of the butter with a slotted spoon.)
6. Add buttermilk; mash again
Pour about a half a cup of buttermilk into the potatoes and keep mashing. Gradually add the rest of the buttermilk and mash to desired consistency. Add more buttermilk if they’re still too dry or lumpy, or if you want them velvety-smooth.
7. Season with kosher salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
Lots and lots of pepper.
8. Serve rippin’ hot
Or, to reheat, just zap in the microwave, on the stove over low heat, or in a sous vide on low heat.
Um, excuse me?
Can I use another kind of potato?
You can, but you should really use Yukon golds. They’re waxy and luxurious and they’re the best for mashing.
I don’t have buttermilk. Can I use cream? Or milk?
Again, you can, but you should really just get some buttermilk. It adds a nice tangy thing that you won’t want to miss.
What do you mean by “medium” potatoes?
Most Yukon golds are the same general size, but sometimes they sell small ones. If yours seem small—like, smaller than a tennis ball—add one or two more than the recipe calls for.
Should I use salted or unsalted butter?
It doesn’t matter. Salted and unsalted butter are a matter of taste. If you like salty food (I do!), use salted. If you’re watching your salt intake, use unsalted. Boom.
Can I make these without dairy?
I’m sure you can, but that’s not this recipe. This recipe uses dairy. I think the best mashed potatoes have dairy in them—but I’d love to be proven wrong.
How far ahead can I make these?
You can make these a couple days in advance. Just reserve in the fridge with plastic wrap, and reheat on the day-of in a pot over low heat (maybe add a bit of extra butter while they reheat), in the microwave, or in a sous vide on low heat.
Can I show you my dairy-free mashed potatoes recipe?
Sure! DM us on Instagram @idratherbemeryl.