Velvet Mashed Potatoes

I’ve been cooking for a long time, and if there’s one thing I know how to cook really well, it’s mashed potatoes. Mine are smooth and extra-rich, like a coat of warm velvet across your tongue. The secret to making delicious potatoes is a simple tool called a ricer. Once the potatoes are cooked, the ricer breaks them down to a dry, snowy powder that you reconstitute with cream and butter. The resulting puree is excellent with everything from sea scallops to sautéed pork chops. Or even just with a big spoon.–Tyler Florence

LC Juli Note

We tend to defer to Julia Child on most things involving butter and cream, so when she shas a technique she swears by for making mashed potatoes in advance, we listen. You can benefit from her stealth approach in the “In Advance Advice” note just beneath the recipe.

Velvet Mashed Potatoes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 large (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.
  • 2. While the potatoes cook, warm the cream with the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat.
  • 3. Drain the potatoes and pass them through a food mill or a ricer into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the warm cream and butter, mixing just until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

In Advance Advice

  • Simply place the pot of finished mash atop or inside another larger pot of gently simmering water and partially cover the pot containing the mashed potatoes, using a wooden spoon stuck in the pot to keep the lid slightly ajar. When it comes time to serve, if the mash looks a little dry, simply add a little extra cream and butter for good measure.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Julie T.

Nov 14, 2011

Potato seduction!!! The recipe is written clearly, the ingredients are easily accessible, and the results are amazing!!! The true key here is using the potato ricer and bringing all the ingredients to the same temperature, allowing for the cream, butter, and potatoes to waltz happily into a velvety potato party in your mouth! Slurp!

Testers Choice
Karen Depp

Nov 14, 2011

Everyone I know loves mashed potatoes — so when you sneak something in front of them and call it puree, you know what the reaction will be. “Yuck! Puree — that’s baby food! I hate it — why can’t we have regular mashed potatoes?” “Because I said so — it’s a tester recipe!” Fast-forward about five minutes, and all you can hear is the soft humming of contented diners smiling and swinging their feet to some favorite tune in their head. “Wow! THIS is what potato puree is?” “I think I want to be a baby again!” Yes, this recipe is just that good. Smooth, velvety, warm, creamy, and seductive as you close your mouth around “just one more bite” of this potato puree. This is a great rendition of mashed potatoes. I have always used a ricer, so I knew what to expect in the way of texture. I usually cook the potatoes with the skins on, however, because peeling them is not necessary with the ricer — it does the job for me. I did not use the drizzle of olive oil at the end. Why not? So I would have the excuse to make this recipe again and try it that way!!

Testers Choice
Tania M.

Nov 14, 2011

If I had to choose my last dinner, mashed potatoes would be on the plate! I’m always interested in trying new versions and this recipe was very good…not the absolute best mash I have eaten, but far from the worst. I kept to the recipe — using freshly dug Yukon Golds from my local CSA. The resulting texture was superb — smooth, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth soft. I love using the ricer. It’s nice to know that none of your guests will end up with a lump of unmashed spud! One cup of cream and half a stick of butter was generous (even for someone who loves her fats!). As much as I enjoyed testing these, I could almost feel them settling on the hips! I feel like the amount of cream could be reduced slightly without too much impact on the taste. I also like to boil my potatoes in chicken stock and with a couple of garlic cloves thrown in for added depth. All in all though, really delicious, simple to prepare, and would make a lovely base for a number of different proteins.

Testers Choice
Deb Russell

Nov 14, 2011

Using a ricer makes mashed potatoes so smooth and velvety. Next time, I would leave the potatoes to dry in the pan for a few minutes after draining. I had to add some salt to the finished potatoes, but I think next time I would use salted butter. They certainly didn’t need the olive oil, but it did look pretty. We loved them.

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Nov 14, 2011

This simple mashed potato recipe is perfect with a juicy meat dish, which would incorporate well with this recipe. The mashed potatoes were creamy and velvety, much as the recipe’s title implies, and can be done in no time. Perfect for a fast side dish on a weeknight.

Testers Choice
Liz Tarpy

Nov 14, 2011

Perfection. The only adjustment I would make would be to salt the water more. I have a heavy hand there, to be sure, but I feel it makes a difference.

Testers Choice
Carrie S.

Nov 14, 2011

The recipe is simple, with few ingredients, and results in delicious and rich potatoes. There’s still some effort involved, with the use of the ricer, but it is worth the extra time because the potatoes seemed almost lighter, even though this is definitely not a low-calorie or low-fat dish. I used the ricer disc with the smallest holes and the potatoes were quite smooth — not baby food puree smooth, but definitely no large lumps that lend smashed potatoes their rustic feel. I wish the recipe specified pounds of potatoes instead of the number of potatoes.

Testers Choice
Lori Widmeyer

Nov 14, 2011

This recipe was pretty much how I always make mashed potatoes, but without a recipe. I just throw in a little butter and cream until they look and taste just right. I had no idea I was using that much cream, but when I used up the full cup of cream, they were just right (knowing they thicken a little as they sit). I finished making the potatoes and was getting ready to take a turkey out of the oven (trying another recipe before Thanksgiving) and asked everyone to taste the potatoes before I started on the gravy. They said it was torture to give them only one bite until dinner was ready…so I figured it is worth the tester’s designation.

Comments
Comments
  1. These look super creamy…….I love yukon gold potatoes!

    • David Leite says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. If I had to eat just one food for a week, it would be potatoes. I can never get enough.

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

        Okay, potatoes for dinner it is. Skin-on wedges slicked with a ton of oil and skillet-crisped….

  2. Nicholle C. says:

    Made these potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner this week and they were amazing! Creamy velvet perfection! This is the last mashed potato recipe anyone ever needs. Ever. And I got to buy and use a potato ricer for the first time—love new kitchen gadgets!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lovely to hear, Nicholle C., thanks so much for letting us know. And yes, that ricer is invaluable. Will pay for itself in satisfaction very soon, if it hasn’t already….

  3. KitchenBeard says:

    You had me at “indecent.”

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