Louisiana is the first place I had country-style mashed potatoes. Boiled in salt water with whole cloves of garlic. Skins on, mashed by hand with a potato masher, adding butter, sour cream, mayonnaise (just a touch), and a hefty dose of seasonings along the way. They were rustic, had a range of texture, and were flavorful enough to be served without gravy.
That’s how I make my potatoes. As long as they’re served hot, I like them a little lumpy and I feel like gravy should be optional. They’re fast and easy to make, but bursting with flavor. Check it.
This is enough for 8 people, assuming two or three of them are children. Here’s what you need:
• 8 medium-large russet potatoes, washed, cut into quarters, rinsed (to get the starch off the cut parts and prevent gummy potatoes)
• a large pot (with a lid) of salted water (and a couple Tbsps of red wine vinegar) – like pasta water, it should taste like the ocean
• 4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled
• 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1/4 cup mayo
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stem and finely chopped
• 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
• 2 pinches of nutmeg
• black pepper
• maybe a cup or so of unsalted chicken stock
Ok, super simple. Boil the potatoes and garlic until you start to see the potato skins fall off and you can easily poke a knife through one of them. You don’t want them falling apart and disintegrating, just very tender. Drain the water out of the pot and reserve a bowl full of the boiling liquid. Add the stick of butter into your hot pot of potatoes and garlic and cover with the lid. Let the butter melt down.
Once the butter is pretty much melted, start mashing the potatoes (and garlic) by hand with a potato masher. After the potatoes have been mashed up pretty good, add the cream, sour cream, mayo, herbs, nutmeg and a few grinds of black pepper. Keep mashing by hand until smooth. If the potatoes seem dry, taste them. If they’re salty enough, then add a little unsalted chicken stock. If they need salt, then add some of your boiling liquid instead (it was heavily salted). Add like 1/2 cup at a time and keep mashing by hand until it reaches a consistency and saltiness that you’re happy with. If you reach a good consistency but still need salt, add a few pinches and mix again. Transfer the potatoes to a dish and serve hot.
Easy, right? They’re fluffy and flavorful, and since everything is done on the stove in one pot, that’s one less thing you have to rotate through your overworked oven on Thanksgiving. And smart little you put the cornbread stuffing and asparagus casserole together the night before, so you can just make the potatoes while those are both baking.
As mentioned, these potatoes have enough flavor to stand on their own, but that doesn’t mean they have to. I’ll be back tomorrow to share how to make an awesome dijon gravy using the drippings from your turkey. Just thinking about the gravy makes my mouth water, because it makes everything you put it on extra amazing. Check ya laterz.
Links to all the posts in this series:
• Savory Cornbread Stuffing
• Scratch-Made Asparagus Casserole (my version of green bean casserole)
• Country-Style Herbed Mashed Potatoes
• Dijon Country Gravy Made with Turkey Drippings
• Homemade Cranberry Sauce Worth Serving
• Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Bacon Vinaigrette
• How to Roast the Perfect Turkey
• Buttery and Crusty Herb-Topped Dinner Rolls
• Light and Airy Pumpkin-Ricotta Cheesecake
• How to Make an Entire Thanksgiving Meal In One Oven
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