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Kitchen & Cooking

How to make mashed potatoes like a pro

Fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes are easy with this step-by-step guide.

A bowl of mashed potatoes on a table, shot from above Credit: Getty Images / bhofack2

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When people talk about Michelin stars, they mostly talk about the staff-to-guest ratio, flawless presentation, and hard-to-find ingredients used in the most innovative ways. However, one of the most legendary chefs of French cooking, Joël Robuchon, earned his very first star thanks to one simple dish—mashed potatoes, or pommes purée.

Since I've dreamt about Joël Robuchon’s mashed potatoes ever since I tasted them at one of his L’Atelier establishments in New York, here’s my interpretation of his signature dish. And if you’re planning on cooking this holiday staple this Thanksgiving, read on for the instructions.

How to make perfect mashed potatoes

A potato ricer mashing potatoes into a bowl.
Credit: Getty Images / jgareri

To create an evenly fluffy texture, you may want to use a potato ricer for the perfect mashed potatoes.

Tools you need

Ingredients you need

  • Six yukon gold potatoes
  • 2½ sticks of cold butter, cut into cubes (we recommend European butter like Beurre D'Isigny or Kerrygold, which have higher fat content)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Optional: 1 tbsp heavy cream or 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Time Needed

25 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

Step-by-Step:

Several potatoes in a pot of boiling water
Credit: Getty Images / Dashtik

The first step is to boil the potatoes—skin on—until they're tender.

Step 1: Prepare and cook the potatoes

Scrub the potatoes but do not peel them. Place the potatoes in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven filled with enough water to submerge the potatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil with the lid on and cook the potatoes until tender—you can test by sticking the potatoes with a paring knife. If the knife cuts through easily, then they’re ready. The potatoes will take 20 to 25 minutes to cook.

Step 2: Let cool and peel the potatoes

Drain the potatoes and let cool before peeling. When all the potatoes are cooled and peeled, put them through a potato ricer directly into the pot. Turn the heat to medium low to remove any residual liquid. To dry more efficiently and avoid burning, stir the potatoes frequently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Step 3: Add the butter

Turn the heat to low and gradually add the cold butter cubes. Stir the potatoes gently, using the back of your spoon to incorporate the cold butter until the mixture becomes smooth.

Step 4: Heat the milk and cream mixture

Combine the milk and cream or crème fraîche in a small saucepan. Slowly heat the mixture until little bubbles start to form on the edges, paying close attention that the mixture doesn't boil. Pour the hot milk mixture into the Dutch oven and stir to combine. If you want your mashed potatoes to be extra fine, run the mash through a sieve.

Step 5: Adjust seasoning and serve

Bowl of mashed potatoes topped with butter, pepper, and scallions
Credit: Getty Images / LauriPatterson

Top your finished bowl of mashed potatoes with whatever seasoning you like.

Turn off the heat and add salt and black pepper to taste. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

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