To us, mashed potatoes are the star of a Thanksgiving plate. Creamy, warm, and buttery soft, they are the perfect bite of food, whether they are enjoyed on their own or skewered with a piece of fresh turkey and dollop of tart cranberry sauce.
This recipe makes our favorite mashed potatoes of all time. Silky smooth and ultra decadent, these spuds are elevated to elite status with the help of a head of garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary. They are destined to become a Thanksgiving staple–and might even make an appearance outside of the holiday season.
Don’t peel just quite yet. Believe it or not, you’ll want to boil your potatoes whole with skin on. Although it seems contrary to popular methods, what you’re doing is allowing your potatoes to retain as much starch as possible, promoting a soft and fluffy mash.
Invest in a ricer. A potato ricer isn’t a common tool in most kitchens, but once you go ricer, you never go back. Ricing aerates the potatoes, as opposed to other methods (looking at you, masher) that take the air out of them. In a pinch, we recommend pushing potatoes through a strainer or whisking with a fork. Whatever you do, don’t stick them in the food processor– the blades wreak havoc on starch molecules, leading to a sticky mess.
Plan ahead. We recommend making these the day before Thanksgiving as opposed to the day of. They reheat beautifully, and keeping them in the fridge for a few hours will free up valuable stovetop space on Thanksgiving Day.
Get creative. This recipe is just about perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own. Try throwing thyme, sage or tarragon in your milk mixture for extra herbiness. You could also stir in some fresh chives for brightness or a couple cracks of ground black pepper for some zest.
And…the best herbs are the ones you can harvest from your own patio garden.
Herby Mashed PotatoesCourse: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
This herby mashed potatoes recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit.
4 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
3 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs of sage
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted room temperature butter, cubed
- Place unpeeled potatoes in a large pot and pour in cold water to cover by 1″. Add a large handful of salt (water should taste briny, like the ocean) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender but not crumbly, 30–35 minutes. Drain water and return potatoes to warm pot. Using a vegetable peeler and protecting your hand with a dish towel, quickly peel the potatoes, returning to the warm pot when finished to keep them warm. Let them rest in the pot while heating the milk mixture.
- Warm milk, cream, garlic, sage and rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan over medium until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
- Pass hot potatoes through ricer or food mill into a large bowl. Slowly add butter and 4 tsp. salt and stir until butter is completely incorporated. Strain warm milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring glass. Pour into potatoes ½-cupful at a time, stirring after each addition until liquid is fully incorporated and mixture is smooth before adding more.
- Mashed potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat over medium, stirring often, and adding 1/4 cup of milk or stock to thin out if needed.