Simple Creamy Mashed Potatoes
These perfectly fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes are really easy to make and turn out perfect every time. There’s no real rocket science behind great mashed potatoes - butter, cream or milk and some elbow grease is really all you need but you might need a few tips to make your current recipe for them even better. Ultimately a potato ricer is prime for achieving completely lump free mashed potatoes but not everyone has that handy tool in their kitchens. Don’t worry - a good sturdy masher will get you just about close enough. Ofcourse processing in a food processor or blending the potatoes will get you there but more often then not those methods over blend/mash the potatoes so that instead of creamy they end up gummy - not so good. It’s a fine line so I usually DO NOT recommend it.
Tips to make great mashed potatoes:
- Really and truly you can mash any potato and some people love to use a variation of a few for extra texture but I have found that using Yukon Gold Potatoes or russet potatoes yield the creamiest mash potatoes. The russet are slightly starchier but absorb seasonings, butter, and cream really beautifully. The Yukon gold ones are more expensive but have a naturally more buttery flavour and texture.
- It’s always a good idea to cook the potatoes in cold water: This ensures that the potatoes cook evenly instead of putting them into boiling water.
- Cut potatoes before boiling. Don’t boil them whole because large, whole potatoes cook unevenly. So instead, cut your potatoes into evenly sized smaller pieces for quick and even boiling. I usually peel mine because I don’t want to have to worry about peeling them while they are hot
- Don’t let the potatoes cool before mashing - you want to start mashing as soon as possible after they’ve been boiled and drained for easy and effective mashing.
- Always use warm milk or cream - Milk straight out of the fridge will cool down otherwise piping-hot potatoes. The cold liquid will not absorb into the hot potatoes very well
- Do not melt butter before stirring it into the potatoes because the milk solids and fat will separate. You can add cold butter to your hot potatoes since the butter will melt as a whole and distribute the fat and milk solids evenly.
- Do salt the water the potatoes are boiled in as they will absorb it and will make them more flavourful and do check seasoning throughout the whole process. You’re going to need to use plenty of salt—starchy and fatty foods need a lot of it to really sing
- After draining the cooked potatoes put the potatoes back in the hot pot, and let them sit there shaking them up a bit in the pot for 1 minutes. This lets the potatoes dry out a bit which leads to more flavorful and less waterlogged potatoes. Then start adding the butter and cream.
Extra flavorings to add to your potatoes
I love to keep things simple with the add ins to my mashed potatoes but there are plenty of things you can add to them for extra flavour and tang. Feel free to use sour cream, buttermilk or even cream cheese for extra flavour and tang. You can add garlic and herbs to them too. Some people like to roast their garlic or boil it in with the potatoes to soften it and make it mash-able. I love infusing those extra flavours into the milk or cream while I heat it up. Just throw your cream on the stove with some thyme, rosemary, garlic, or whatever other aromatics you enjoy. Simmering the cream on low heat will infuse that flavor directly into the liquid. Strain it after you’re done and ditch the aromatics to keep the texture of the mashed potatoes pure.
Of course you could add cheese and bacon bits and other yummy toppings that you can also stir into the mash too. There are loads of options. Feel free to play around with the flavours and add ins. This is a great staple recipe that you can build on and one I think you will love.
- 3 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed (approx 1 inch pieces)
- 1 tbsp salt (for boiling)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed (plus more for topping potatoes)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream or full fat milk, warmed
- Salt to taste
- Place potatoes in a large pot with 1 tbsp salt. Add water so it’s covering potatoes by approximately 4-5 inches.
- Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat so it’s at a apid simmer. Cook approx 15 minutes or until potatoes are very soft and falling apart when pierced with fork.
- Drain well, return to pot. Allow them to sit in dry pot for for 1 minute, shaking them around the pot a few times, to help remaining moisture evaporate.
- Add the butter and the cream then mash really well, adding a little extra cream as needed to loosen up the mash.
- Transfer to serving bowl, drizzle over some extra melted butter sprinkle with some pepper and fresh chives or herbs of choice then serve!