Ultimate Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 4 lbs russet potatoes, about 10 large, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- SEASONED MILK:
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 carrot, chopped
- 2 slices onion
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 bay leaf
- Parsley stems, about 10
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 10 black peppercorns
- TO SERVE:
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter
- To make SEASONED MILK: In a large saucepan, combine milk, carrot, onion slices, celery, bay leaf, parsley, nutmeg, and pepper. Warm over low to medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes; make sure milk stays at a low simmer and does not boil. Remove from heat. Strain, discarding solid ingredients. (Can be made up to a day ahead of time and chilled. If made ahead, reheat before using to mash potatoes.)
- To cook potatoes; In a large heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, combine potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and 2 tsp salt. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Drain potatoes in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water in a heatproof container.
- Press slightly cooled potatoes through a ricer into the warm pan. Stir in just enough of the warm milk mixture to reach the consistency you like. To use a potato masher, return potatoes to the warm pan and mash, stirring in just enough of the warm milk to reach the desired consistency. If you need more liquid, add some of the reserved cooking water. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Transfer to a buttered casserole dish if desired and serve warm, topped with butter. Or top with butter and keep warm in a low oven until serving time. Stir gently before serving.
- GARLIC MASHED POTATOES: Add 2 heads of roasted, peeled garlic. (Wrap in foil and roast in a 400°F oven for 50 minutes.) Mash with potatoes.
- OLIVE OIL POTATOES: Substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil for butter.
- CHEESE POTATOES: Stir 8 oz crumbled soft goat cheese or other favorite cheese, grated, into warm mashed potatoes.