Creamy Mashed Potatoes

The following recipe is from Cook's Illustrated.  See the bottom for my changes and comments.


How hard can it be? Despite only four basic ingredients, making decent mashed potatoes can pose a challenge. After a few disasters, we discovered the best way to create the perfect (i.e. creamiest) mashed side dish.

Test Kitchen Discoveries

- Russet potatoes produce mashed potatoes that are both light and fluffy, but for a creamier, more substantial mash, we prefer to use Yukon Gold.
- Rinsing the potatoes after cooking and before mashing washes away excess starch, resulting in extra creamy potatoes.
- To ensure your potatoes arrive at the table hot, melt the butter and heat the cream before adding them to your potatoes.

This recipe can be cut in half, if desired.

4 pounds Yukon Gold potato , peeled
12 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 6 pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons Salt

1. Cut potatoes into 3/4-inch slices. Place potatoes in colander and rinse under running water, tossing with hands, for 30 seconds. Transfer potatoes to Dutch oven, add water to cover by 1 inch, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat butter and heavy cream in small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.

3. Drain potatoes and return to Dutch oven. Stir over low heat until potatoes are thoroughly dried, 1 to 2 minutes. Set ricer or food mill (see box below) over large bowl and press or mill potatoes into bowl. Gently fold in warm cream mixture and salt with rubber spatula until cream is absorbed and potatoes are thick and creamy. Serve.

Comment - this makes a huge amount.  For me I cut it in half and still end up with MORE than enough for two meals.  Potato weight is AFTER peeling.  I use russets; I don't like Yukons, they seem kind of tasteless to me (they don't have a "potato" flavor.  Perhaps it's the brand I buy).  After cooking, I rice the potatoes using a potato ricer and then gently fold in the cream/butter; this method works terrific.  Also,  I've found that russets cook much faster than waxy (red) potatoes, which is what I usually use for boiling potatoes, so keep a close eye on them, definitely check them at 20 minutes.