Mashed Potatoes were one of the first things I ever cooked on my own. Done right, there’s no better side dish in the world. I made these once for a family party and ever since have been enlisted as “the mashed potato guy” come the holidays (See the Diesel Thanksgiving 2007). When going all out, I opt for a hand beater, real butter and whole milk to make the potatoes extra creamy and rich. However, these can easily be substituted with margarine, 1% milk and a hand masher for a more rustic texture.
A meat a potatoes guy at heart, I take this recipe very seriously. While there can be many variations and adjustments made to either jazz it up or simplify it, below is the basic style followed by some serving suggestions. Also, the recipe can be made in bigger or smaller quantities depending on how much you feel like eating/serving.
5 lbs Potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered (Peels can be left on if you like a more rustic texture and taste)
5 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
¾-1 ½ Cup Whole Milk
6 Tablespoons Real Butter
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
Put potatoes and garlic into large pot. Fill the pot with water until the potatoes are covered and bring to a boil on the stove. Boil for roughly 25 minutes or until a fork can be stuck through a potato with no resistance. Strain the potatoes and return the pot to the stove. Turn heat down to low. (I prefer to use the pot and lid to strain rather than pouring everything into a separate colander. When potatoes are done, just put the lid on, grab with a towel or heating pad, tilt the lid slightly so the water can get out and dump over the sink. Hang on so you don’t lose the potatoes and watch your face in the steam!)
Do a preliminary mash with a hand masher to break up the big pieces. Then add milk, butter, salt and pepper. Blend with a hand mixer until everything is incorporated. Taste. This is probably the most important part of cooking in the Diesel style – taste everything. If you like the potatoes salty, add more salt. Can’t taste the butter? ADD MORE. Potatoes still a little dry? ADD MORE MILK! It’s not rocket science. Once you’ve made your adjustments, whip some more until you reach your desired texture. Taste. Everything good? Ok then, serve immediately. And put a pat of butter on the top to melt if serving family style. No Gravy Necessary.
Add crumbled bleu cheese and caramelized onions as a garnish to finish.
Want ’em really rich and creamy? Use heavy cream instead of milk.
Garlic can be omitted but why would you want to do that?
Once the potatoes come out of the water, try to move quickly so you don’t serve cold potatoes.