Mashed potatoes. So simply right? It is literally just boiled potatoes that you mash....If only it were really that easy though! I can't even begin to tell the number of times I thought just that and end up with a lumpy, gluey mess! I seriously thought I was destined to only be able to handle the instant boxed mashed potatoes. But I persevered and I figured out what I was doing wrong! Check out the recipe below for the technique to make perfectly creamy mashed potatoes every time!
And it works not just for mashed, but for cooking any type of potatoes in general!
What's the technique to making Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes?
- Peel and cut the potatoes into small equal sized cubes
- Rinse the potatoes a few times to remove some of the starch
- Soak the potatoes in water for at least 4 hours, up to overnight. This step is crucial to really get all of the excess starch off.
- Fill a large pot with water, rinse off the potatoes one last time and add them to the cold water. Salt the water, place the pot on the stove and turn on the heat.
- Once the water is boiling, set your timer for 20 minutes. After the timer goes off, check the doneness of the potatoes, you should be able to slide a fork into the cubes but they should not disintegrate. If you can not poke it, let it cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Drain the water from the potatoes, leave the potatoes in the colander while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- In the same pot that you boiled the potatoes, melt butter and heavy cream and any other seasoning you want to add (black pepper, salt).
- Once the butter is melted and the heavy cream is warmed remove from heat. Add the potatoes back to the pot and mash with a masher or if using a potato ricer, you can rice the potatoes straight into the pot. Now mix the potatoes with the butter and milk mixture, taste and season for salt and pepper!
Why this method works!
- The main reason is starch! If you don't rinse and soak the potatoes in water, all that starch that is naturally in potatoes will cause your mashed potatoes to become gluey and gummy. So rinse and soak the potatoes to remove as much of the starch as possible. The less starch the potatoes have, the fluffier and lighter they will be!
- It is also crucial to warm up the butter and dairy before adding the cooked potatoes. Again you're watching out for the starch. The butter and cream will coat the cooked potatoes, which helps prevent additional starch from being released.
- By starting the potatoes in cold salted water, you're doing two things, ensuring the heat is distributed evenly and flavoring the potatoes as they're cooking.
- The type of potato you use is super important, for fluffy mashed potatoes pick up russet potatoes or yukon gold. They will hold up during the cooking process and absorb the butter and cream the best!
For more recipes for your Thanksgiving menu, check out: Sweet Potato with Cornbread Stuffing & Cranberry Chutney, Cardamom Ginger Apple Pie Filling, Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping
Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- 8 large Russet Potatoes
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes, place in large bowl. Rinse the potatoes in cold water a few times to rinse off the starch.
- Fill the bowl with cold water to cover the potatoes with at least an inch of water. Refrigerate the potatoes soaking in water for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
- When ready to book, rinse the potatoes once more. Transfer the potatoes to a large pot, cover the potatoes with at least 2 inches of water. Transfer the pot to the stove and bring the water to a boil, boil for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes from the water in a colander. Leave the potatoes in the colander for a few minutes.
- In the same large pot that you boiled the potatoes, heat butter, heavy cream and milk on medium high heat. Add salt and pepper to the melted butter and cream mixture.
- Either run the potatoes through a ricer or food mill straight into the melted butter and cream mixture or mash the potatoes right into mixture. Gently fold the potatoes into the mixture until fully combined. Taste for salt and pepper, serve warm.