Fork-Mashed Potatoes

In French recipes, this style of mashed potatoes is called pommes de terres à la fourchette, which sounds glamorous for a dish of humble home-style potatoes mashed with a fork. You can make them as smooth as you like, or keep them rough and chunky.–David Tanis

LC Maverick Mashed Potatoes Note

We rather like these fork-mashed potatoes quite a lot. There’s a sort of honesty, a frankness about them that we respect. Yet as much as we swoon for a simple mash, there are times when plain mashed potatoes just aren’t quite…enough. When it’s one of those times, turn to the variations galore that follow the recipe.

Even better, this mash can easily be doubled, tripled, or, well, you get the idea. When making mashed spuds for the multitudes and desperately want to save some last-minute fuss, we rely on the Julia Child trick to making them ahead of time and keeping them warm. You should, too. Just place your pot or pan of just-mashed potatoes in a slightly larger pot of hot, but not simmering, water. Balance the lid on top, making sure it’s left slightly ajar—the handle of a wooden spoon that’s been stuck in the mash works quite swell—and then forget about them while greeting guests, taking coats, shaking cocktails, and tending to the foods that do require last-minute fuss. Just before serving, stir the potatoes ever so slightly. If the mash appears slightly dry, stir in a smidgen more milk or butter or, if you’re feeling flush, both.

Fork-Mashed Potatoes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  • 1. Peel and cube the potatoes. Boil them in salted water for 12 to 15 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 2. Heat the milk or cream in a small saucepan over mediumish heat until just under a boil.
  • 3. Pour the hot milk or cream over the potatoes and add the olive oil and butter. Use a large fork to mash the potatoes to whatever consistency you like, then transfer to a warm serving bowl.

Mashed Potato Stir-Ins, Add-Ons, and Cook-Alongs Note

  • Next time you feel like fancying up a pot of potatoes, turn to these inspirations from the intrepid team of Leite’s Culinaria recipe testers, who divulged their tried and true tactics. You can reveal your own favorites in a comment below…
    Stir-Ins
      Just stir any of these right into the mash…
    • Cheese, glorious cheese, whether Cheddar, Parmesan, Asiago, the blues (we could go on….)
    • Roasted garlic
    • Minced chives
    • Chipotles en adobo
    • Bacon and scallions
    • Chives
    • Peas
    Add-ons
      These indulgences can be added on in addition to or in place of the milk.
    • Crême fraiche, cream cheese, sour cream, or cream
    • Milk or cream that’s been infused with the essence of fresh herbs (simply warm the moo juice, toss in a few sprigs, and set aside to steep)
    Cook-Alongs
      Slip a few of these roots into the pot along with the spuds.
    • Celery root
    • Turnips
    • Rutabagas and carrots (known as rotmos in Sweden)
    • Sweet potatoes
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Julie Dreyfoos

Nov 22, 2010

This fork mashed potatoes recipe is simple and easy, and makes me ask, “Why didn’t I think of this?” As I was mashing the potatoes with my fork, it reminded me of growing up with my godmother, who would often serve boiled potatoes that I’d smash on my plate before adding big hunks of butter to them. This recipes goes just one step further, adding warmed milk to make them smooth and creamy. One thing that I really like is the ease of making this recipe for just the two of us, knowing that I can easily multiply it for a crowd.

Testers Choice
Dan Kraan

Nov 22, 2010

If you like mashed potatoes at all, you’ll really like this recipe. It’s nothing fancy or outrageous—just good mashed potatoes. I usually use a potato masher for this kind of thing, but a fork yields a different, rustic texture. One note: At first, I thought that there was too much liquid, but it works its way into the potatoes without having to “whip” them into submission. I’d make this again, but with my masher, as it’s just easier that way.


Comments
Comments
  1. Carol Hargis says:

    Maytag blue cheese AND celeriac. That’s an stir-in/cook-along from heaven. Promise.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Lovely, Carol. I never would have thought of that but can see how it would be divine. Many thanks…

  2. Elsa M. Jacobson says:

    The Swedes (and I am half a Swede!) have a dish called rotmos, which consists of mashed potatoes, rutabagas, and carrots — for me, a simple yet perfect combination of humble root vegetables as well as an integral part of my heritage. After that, there are various seasoning options, but what distinguishes rotmos from any other dish is this trio of vegetables. As with many traditional recipes, the sum of this trio is greater than the parts.

  3. Joan says:

    I’m often trying new things with mashed potatoes. Some of my and my family’s favorites are: cream cheese, chives, chipotles, horseradish, mayonnaise (instead of butter), different kinds of cheese (parm, swiss, cheddar, blue, asiago), bacon & green onions and my daughter and I like a sweet potato and potato mix occasionally.

  4. Karen says:

    David, These potatoes sent me into ecstasy. They are beyond heavenly. I tested them for Thanksgiving and they will be a staple not only for special occasions, but for dinners galore. Your imagination knows no bounds. I am now a devoted fan and am on my way to becoming a Leite’s addict.

    • David Leite says:

      Karen, thanks. But the David in question is David Tanis. we will, however, take credit for choosing and testing the recipe! Glad you like Leite’s. We don’t mind being a, um, pusher for the food addict.

  5. Sofia says:

    Made them last night as suggested by Dan and I must say… YUMMMM we added the garlic, actually LOTS of garlic and was an amazing side dish to the pork loin. One to be repeated. Creamy, smooth, intense taste of garlic (which is always a good thing).

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Sometimes it’s the simplest pleasures…thanks for letting us know, Sofia.

  6. Ling Teo says:

    This recipe + Joan Nathan’s recipe for gribenes + slivers of white, red or green onion…

  7. nik says:

    One of the best cookbooks I’ve seen! I love the Wild Mushroom Ragout and Fennel Soup and this recipe, too, will go on my favorites list. I like the idea of mix-ins…I’m tempted to put a colorful flourish right in the middle of a big bowl of all that potato yumfulness. Maybe a dollop of vivid purple beet puree…spiked with a drop or two of wine…? I’d like to try edamame or butter beans mixed in too. Or just eat them pure and rustic the way they were meant to be. I predict a future comfort food in the tasting. :) Many thanks for sharing the recipe…cheers!

    • Lindsay Myers says:

      Wow, Nik, I like where this mashed potato brainstorming is going. Sounds like you’ll have a stunning dish no matter what you do. I’m so glad you found this recipe!

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