Mashed potatoes are one of the best comfort foods ever. Nonetheless, there are also one of those recipes that are so easy to make that If you are not careful you can actually end up with “not so perfect mashed potatoes” – been there, done that! You know how the saying goes “familiarity breeds contempt” – hmm, you can apply that to cooking as well oh.
So to avoid this, with a lot of practice and patience, I found a way to not get so familiar with my mashed potatoes recipe and if you try this way out as well, you will always end up with what I like to call the “Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe”. Taking every step and tip seriously – no room for familiarity- you and your family will be glad you did.
It took a while to find the perfect mashed potato recipe that worked for me, but the day I finally tasted “Recipe Subject 00129…I have no idea…lol “, it was an Eureka moment for my taste buds. The entire pot of mashed potatoes was emptied out in less than 15 minutes, it was so good, that some of us had it without any sauce. So this recipe has officially come to stay.
Though everyone seems to have their favorite way of making mashed potatoes.You should know that there are 3 things that make the biggest difference for making perfect creamy, tasty mashed potatoes, here they are:
The type of Irish potatoes you use for your recipe matter. There are 3 types of potatoes; very waxy like Red Bliss, very starchy like Russets, and somewhere in between like Yukon Gold. The best type of potatoes to use are either starchy Russets with their high starch and low water content which are good for baking, making French fries, and mashing. They will give you the creamiest mash. However, my personal favorite are Yukon Golds – though, on the more expensive side, they are often used for their flavor and color. It is all about personal preference; however, please stay away from waxy potatoes. They won’t mash properly and don’t absorb dairy well. For this recipe, I used Yukon Gold.
BOIL BEFORE PEELING
I picked up my mother’s habit of boiling potatoes before peeling the skins off long before I found out the benefits of that tradition. Unpeeled and unsliced potatoes will absorb less water while being boiled, preserving the starch within the potato. Less water avoids a gluey, watery mash and allows the potatoes to absorb the dairy. Plus, the potato peels contribute to the overall potato flavor. And finally, taking the peels off after cooking is actually quicker and easier. You will have to peel the potatoes when they’re hot, the skin generally starts peeling off once the potato is cooked. To take them off, hold them in your hand using a napkin and use a paring knife to peel them off.
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BUTTER FIRST; DAIRY SECOND
Add your butter first to get silkier potatoes. This happens because the butter coats the potatoes; after which you can add your warmed dairy. Adding the dairy before the butter will give you a gluey potato mash. Butter makes a lot of difference for the flavor of your mash; so use the best quality you can find. If you use unsalted butter, then you don’t need to add the second portion of salt; or at least reduce the quantity of salt. Milk and cream together make a better mash than just one without the other.
You can enjoy your mashed potatoes with any type of sauce or stew; for protein I tend to prefer my mashed potatoes with fish. However, it still goes well with the other types of meat.
So let’s move on to our recipe.
MASHED POTATOES RECIPE
Recipe level: Medium
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Meal type: Side Dish/Main Dish
Meal time: Lunch or Dinner
- 2 pounds ( 907grams) (about 6 – 7 small potatoes) Irish potatoes , Yukon Gold or Russets
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (120ml) cream
- 1/4 cup or 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons salt, during cooking
- 1 teaspoon salt, after cooking
- 1/2 teaspoon black powder
- A handful Parsley or Chives, to garnish
- Wash potatoes with skin on thoroughly; place in medium size pot. Pour cold water and completely cover potatoes by a tleast an inch of water.; add 2 teaspoons salt.
- Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until potato is cooked. Check for doneness with a small knife; it should easily pass through the potato. (If your potatoes are larger they should take about 40 – 45 minutes to get done)
- Combine cream and milk together in a small pot and heat up on low heat; melt butter in another small pot or pan on low heat as well. (You can also warm dairy and melt butter in a microwave as well. Keep both on low heat or in a warm place while you peel potatoes; don’t warm them on high heat or else dairy will scald and curdle and butter will burn)
- Drain water; place potatoes in a bowl and use a small knife to peel off the skins. (The potato skins will easily come off while the potatoes are still hot; so as not to burn your hands, hold them with a nakpin or wearing clean oven mitts while peeling)
- Pour melted warm butter over peeled potatoes; using a potato masher, mash potatoes until the mash is smooth. ( I like my mash with some crunch so I leave some clumps in there)
- Add dairy; now use a strong wooden or plastic spoon to mix in dairy and beat mash further till it is fully incorporated. (Don’t overbeat the mash so you don”t get gluey mashed potatoes.)
- Season with extra salt and black pepper and mix; garnish with some fresh parsely or chives.