Posted by: A Part of the Solution | November 18, 2010

Really Tasty Mashed Potatoes

One of the things I like about this recipe is how it uses less fat than you’re used to but still delivers creamy, rich potatoes. One of the other things I like about this recipe is that it works well with plain, old russet potatoes (older here is slightly better for the finished texture of the product). And of course, I like that it can be vegan in a heart-beat–so everyone can have a few spoonfuls too many.

This recipe requires that the potatoes be steamed and not just boiled. So hunt down your metal colander, and put balls of aluminum foil under it in the pan if it doesn’t have long enough legs to accommodate an inch of water. If you have a potato ricer, so much the better for you. They aren’t expensive, and they’re frequently available at thrift shops and rummage sales for even less.

This multiplies nicely, so do what you have to do  to put the heaping helpings on the plates.

Really Tasty Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes peeled and cut into uniform chunks (3/4″ or 1″ make sense)

1/2 cup milk, soy or nut or oat or even rice (or veg stock, or chicken stock, or even cream if you’re going flat out)

4 TBSP butter, or Earth Balance or X-V olive oil (in which case the veg or chicken stock work really well)

salt and pepper to taste

In a deep-sided pan, pour an inch of water. On top of this set a steamer insert or a colander which fits inside the pan. Rinse the potato chunks well before loading them into the pan. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat so that the water’s still boiling along and let it go about 12 minutes. Now rinse the hot potatoes (yes, this is fussy. Yes this is worth it. Yes, it really works), return them to the pan–check to see if you should top up your boiling water with some from a kettle you have going nearby, cover and cook another 12 minutes or so. They should pierce easily with a fork.

Heat the milk, stock or cream gently. Pour the water out of the pan in which the potatoes have been cooking, return the potatoes to the warm pan and let them dry for a few minutes. Now press them through your ricer, or work them over with your masher. Add the fat, cut into chunks if it’s a solid. Work it well in to the potatoes. Add the hot liquid and the salt and pepper. See? Creamy and light and luscious tasting with less than half the fat that’s usually in a batch of mashed potatoes.

You can add a head’s worth of roasted garlic, using stock and olive oil, to get a classic garlic roasted mashed potato.

You can add minced parsley, thyme and a little rosemary for an herbed version.

You can add a cup of grated cheese, Gruyère or sharp cheddar are nice, with a fat pinch of cayenne and powdered mustard for cheesy mashed potatoes.



  1. Sounds delicious. Nice recipe.

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