When it comes to making the perfect side dish for meat dishes like steak or pork chops, there is one dish that stands above all the rest: mashed potatoes.
A bowl of light, fluffy, and perfectly seasoned mashed potatoes will catapult any good meat dish into “amazing territory”.
In the same vein, however, a bowl of gluey, dense, and under-seasoned mashed potatoes can ruin even the best steak you’ve ever had.
You might think that making mashed potatoes is quick and easy; after all, how hard can it be to mix potatoes, milk, butter, and spices? But you would be surprised! Making the perfect bowl of creamy mashed potatoes is an art.
As with all great works of art, every part and step of the process is important. It will take a little bit more care and love than you would think, but trust us, when you taste the mashed potatoes that you can make from this recipe, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to try making it this way!
When it comes to mashed potatoes, not all potatoes are equal. You want potatoes that have a high starch content, such as Russets or Yukon Gold. Avoid waxy varieties such as red or white potatoes because they require far more mashing to achieve that creamy texture. Over-mashed potatoes become gluey and dense.
How far ahead can you make mashed potatoes?
We know that you want to make mashed potatoes in advance so that it’s a lot easier come mealtime, but potatoes don’t take well to being made too far ahead if you don’t plan to freeze them.
For the best taste and texture, you can make mashed potatoes up to 2 hours ahead of serving time. Simply place the mashed potatoes in a heat-proof bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and place over a pot of simmering water to keep the potatoes nice and warm without making them too gluey or hard.
Can you freeze mashed potatoes?
Yes, you can freeze mashed potatoes. Cool down the mashed potato to room temperature and place in freezer-safe bags, making sure to remove as much air as possible. You can lay the bag flat to ensure that the mashed potatoes freeze evenly.
Keep in mind, however, that thawed and reheated mashed potatoes will not have the same texture and consistency as freshly made mashed potatoes.
How long to boil potatoes for mash?
As a rule of thumb, potatoes will take around 15-20 minutes in a roiling boil to cook through. You can shorten this cooking time dramatically by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into quarters before cooking. Peeled and quartered potatoes will take around 10-15 minutes to cook.
To check for doneness, you can poke the potatoes with a fork or a knife. The potato should be tender and give way easily.
What to do with leftover mashed potatoes?
There are tons of things that you can do with leftover mashed potatoes!
Our favorite recipe here at CookingChew is making mashed potato balls. For every cup of leftover mashed potatoes, add an egg, 1 T. of flour, 1 t. of shredded mozzarella cheese, and some crumbled bacon. Shape into balls and roll each ball in some breadcrumbs before deep-frying for 3 minutes until golden-brown. Serve hot with some ranch dipping sauce. Yum!
How to store mashed potatoes?
You can store mashed potatoes by placing them in airtight containers in the fridge. We found that glass containers work best.
How to make mashed potatoes?
When making mashed potatoes, the most important rule is to NEVER overwork the potatoes. Overworking the potatoes when mashing them causes starch to be released, resulting in gluey, dense, and unappetizing mashed potatoes.
Why use sour cream in mashed potatoes?
Sour cream gives mashed potatoes a creamy and smooth consistency, plus it give it a little tang to help cut through the richness of the potato, milk, and butter.
Why use real butter in mashed potatoes?
Real butter gives your mashed potato that creamy and buttery texture, as well as a slight nuttiness.
Our CookingChew Cooking Tips:
1. Salt your water!
Salting the water not only adds flavor (the starch absorbs the salt and seasons the potatoes), but it also allows the water to boil to a hotter temperature, cooking the starch more thoroughly and resulting in creamier potatoes.
2. Start with cold water
When boiling potatoes, make sure to add the raw potatoes to cold water. This ensures that the potatoes cook evenly.
3. Remove as much starch from the potatoes as possible.
To get that smooth, creamy, and light texture, you should remove as much starch as possible. Rinse your potatoes with clean water before AND after boiling them.
4. Let the potatoes dry a little before mashing
When it comes to making creamy mashed potatoes, water is your enemy! After draining and rinsing the potatoes, you can leave them in the pot to allow them to dry a little and remove any residual moisture.
5. Use lukewarm milk and butter.
When adding the milk and butter, make them lukewarm before adding them to the cooked potatoes. Lukewarm milk and butter incorporate better and faster into the potatoes, so you don’t need to work the potatoes as much to fully incorporate the ingredients in.
6. Fold, Don’t Mix
Speaking of which, FOLD ingredients into the mashed potatoes. Don’t mix them! Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the milk, butter, and sour cream into your potatoes.
7. Use a Food Mill or Ricer
Here’s the biggest secret to making fluffy and light mashed potatoes: you don’t actually use a masher. When possible, use a food mill to “mash” the potatoes. However, we know that food mills aren’t exactly a common kitchen appliance, so you can use substitutes such as ricers.
If you don’t have a ricer, you can use a strainer and a wooden spoon. Simply force the cooked potatoes through the strainer using your wooden spoon. It’ll take a little bit more effort, but it’s worth it, trust us!
Creamy and Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
Make the perfect mashed potatoes at home with this delicious recipe. Creamy mashed potatoes are THE side dish to pair with a grilled steak, roasted chops, or even fried chicken! After making this recipe, you’ll never want to go back to those store-bought mashed potato mixes ever again, we promise.
- 6 medium Russet potatoes
- ¼ cup real butter
- ¼ cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel potatoes and cut into quarters.
- Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 t. of salt to water.
- Over medium heat, bring to a boil and cook until tender, around 15 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and rinse. Return to pan and allow to dry slightly.
- Run potatoes through food mill (or ricer, or strainer).
- Add milk, and butter and gradually, folding continuously.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g
What About Skin-On Mashed Potatoes?
Okay, here’s the thing: you can’t really make light and fluffy mashed potatoes when you leave the skin on. If you like skin-on mashed potatoes for a more rustic look and taste, you can make it really smooth and creamy. You need to use a potato masher to mash the potatoes. However, you need to really make sure that you don’t overwork the potatoes, because using a masher can quickly make potatoes dense and sticky.
Steep Your Milk!
If you want to add a little bit more flavor to your final dish, you can steep your milk with aromatic herbs and spices! In a small saucepan, heat your milk with herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or peppercorns for around 10 minutes at medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Once the milk has been infused with the flavors of the aromatics, strain the milk to remove the herbs.
Roasted Garlic? Yes, please!
Mashed potatoes go so well with roasted garlic! While the potatoes are boiling, you can roast some garlic in an air fryer. Simply mash the roasted garlic with a fork and fold along with the milk, butter, and sour cream. We love a really garlicky mash here at CookingChew, so we add 3-4 cloves of roasted garlic for this recipe.
If you’ve ever wondered how restaurants and steakhouses make their mashed potatoes so light, creamy, and fluffy, wonder no more! This delicious recipe will give you perfect, restaurant-quality mashed potatoes in your own home.