Mashed Potatoes

Based on a recipe by Alton Brown.

  • Around 4 pounds of potatoes — yukon gold, or a mix of golds with russets and reds.

If you’re using russets, scrub them with steel wool or a stiff brush to soften the skin; golds and reds can be left

Cut the potatoes into pieces between 1/2″ and 1″ (perhaps following Alton’s wedge technique), place them in a large pot of cold water, put it on high heat until it boils and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until a piece removed and cooled on your cutting board mashes nicely under a fork.

Meanwhile, in another pot, bring to a very gentle simmer, but don’t allow to boil:

  • One and a half cups of cream;
  • One and a half cups of butter (three sticks);
  • A half dozen cloves of garlic, minced or crushed;
  • One and a half teaspoons of salt (or two if using kosher salt);
  • Some ground pepper.

When the potatoes are done, drain them in a colander, mash them as described below, and add them to the dairy.

If you have a ricer or food mill, you can process the potatoes that way. Alternately, you can use a traditional potato masher, processing them in a handful of separate batches. It’s fine if there are some small lumps, and the skins aren’t going to be totally pulverized — the goal is to ensure there are no large pieces left whole, while not repeatedly mashing any bits for so long that they turn into gummy paste.

Stir to combine the potatoes and dairy, and serve at once.

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