This year I am making the mashed potatoes to end all mashed potatoes and I am not even a little humble about it.
Before you throw up your outraged arms, give me a chance to defend myself. There's nary a piece of cheese in sight. In fact, these potatoes are almost entirely traditional, I just got a little wild with the butter and made it brown, nutty, and more than a little glorious.
I have long-rejected the idea that mashed potatoes warrant no special care. The crude "vehicle for gravy" point of view simply does not give the humble potato a chance to hold its own underneath a blanket of brown gravy. These potatoes, however, will compliment your turkey and gravy without stealing the show. They are good, really very good, but still subtle enough to be a compliment rather than a star.
If you traditionalists are still skeptical, then at least promise me you will serve these potatoes alongside your next steak. I want you to know this happiness.
Let's talk about the recipe. Yukon gold potatoes are always the way to go, in my not-so-humble opinion. I find that their flavor is sweeter and they are slightly less starchy than russets.
If you happen to have a sister or husband hanging around your kitchen, have them do the peeling. I really hate doing the peeling.
Boil the potatoes in well-salted water. We never miss a chance to add flavor around here.
Introduce your boiled potatoes to your mashing instrument. I used to have a potato masher...but I broke it. These days, I use an electric mixer. We are looking for very smooth, but not gluey.
After the potatoes are mashed, we get to add cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Then, the brown butter. Oh happy day...
Now please tell me you are adding this to your Thanksgiving menu.
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
- 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided use
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Place cubed potatoes in the bottom of a 6-quart pot and cover with water. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until the potatoes are soft; about 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are boiling, brown the butter. Place butter in a 10-inch skillet and melt over medium heat. Once the butter has melted it will begin to bubble and brown. Swirl the pan gently every minute or so to ensure even browning. Small brown bits will form at the bottom of the skillet and the fragrance will be nutty. Once the butter is amber in color, remove from heat. Use a spoon to skim the white bubbles off the top of the butter. Set aside.
Place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl and mash or mix with an electric mixer until very smooth.
Cook's Note: If you are using an electric mixer be very careful not to over-mix as this will result in gluey potatoes.
Mix in cream, pepper, nutmeg, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Stir in the browned butter. Serve immediately.* Enjoy!
Cook's Note: Alternatively, you could make these potatoes a day in advance, refrigerate, and then reheat in the oven.