For something so simple and, on its own, kind of plain, potatoes are quite magical. Especially when boiled and whipped together to make these homestyle mashed potatoes.
I’ve even made mashed potatoes from homegrown plants before. It was especially entertaining to make mashed potatoes with the blue potatoes we had grown in the backyard. Vibrant blue mashed potatoes kind of trick your brain a little.
It definitely looked like we had thrown food coloring in with them when mixing. But that is just how they were.
The goal is to avoid the two extremes of mashed potatoes – watery and gluey.
So get to peeling or scrubbing your tubers and make yourself some perfect homestyle mashed potatoes. Note – if you are not peeling your potatoes, make sure that you thoroughly scrub the outside clean. Use a dedicated vegetable brush. They are cheap and make it much easier to get all those nooks and crannies.
Prepping and Cooking the Potatoes
Potatoes are mostly water and starch. Different varieties of potatoes will vary in starch levels. And, in my opinion, any variety can give you good mashed potatoes. You may have to make some slight adjustments to get things perfect, but they’ll work. With thousands of varieties out there, you’ll be sure to find a favorite.
My go-to variety is Yukon gold potatoes when mashing. They’ve got a fair amount of starch and good flavor.
Cut the potato into evenly sized pieces for boiling. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but the consistency of cut = consistency of cook. You don’t want one huge slab of potato in with a lot of smaller bits, since the small ones will be tender and ready while the center of the large piece is still raw.
Make sure to salt the water. The potatoes absorb a lot of the water while cooking, so salting the water will add a lot of flavor into the potatoes themselves.
Don’t overmix. So, watch your potatoes as you mix and mash them to make sure that you don’t take it too far.
In my opinion, using a powered hand mixer is better than a masher or a food processor. You can also use a potato ricer, but that is a pretty niche tool to have in your kitchen. More power to you if you’ve got one though.
Yes, I use the same hand mixer for homestyle mashed potatoes that I use to make my homemade whipped cream. It is fast, efficient, and really easy to clean in the dishwasher. So I use it any time I can. It is much easier than using a hand masher, though that can be done. The only real thing to worry about is the potential to over-mix your potatoes.
Using Homestyle Mashed Potatoes
You can always just eat mashed potatoes by the spoonful straight from the bowl after whipping them together.
No one is judging you over here.
But if you are thinking of pairing these with something else to make a meal, then homestyle mashed potatoes go well with:
- Grilled Steak
- Sage Roasted Turkey and Homemade Gravy
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Roast chicken (and gravy)
- Beef Stroganof
- Fried Chicken (…and gravy…)
So, basically, anything with gravy.
But to add some flavor to the mashed potatoes themselves, mix in things like sour cream, bacon, cheese, garlic (or roasted garlic!), butter, or your favorite seasoning mix. Include some chives for a pop of green and fresh flavor. Or try to copy the Cheesecake Factory potatoes and mix in some horseradish.
Any way you mash it, you’ll be having a buttery good time.
Homestyle Mashed PotatoesCourse: SidesDifficulty: Easy
Fluffy, buttery, creamy potatoes cooked and mashed to make the best side dish ever
5 pounds potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- If you want smooth results, peel the potatoes and rinse them off, otherwise scrub and clean the potatoes with skin on for skin-on mashed potatoes (especially for red potatoes)
- Cut the potatoes into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
- Add the potatoes to a large pot, cover them with water so that it comes an inch above the potatoes, and stir in 1/3 cup salt
- Get out the butter and cream so they can come to room temperature
- Bring the pot of potatoes to a boil over high heat, reduce it to medium-high once it begins to boil, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender
- Drain the potatoes and let them sit in the strainer for 2 to 3 minutes to let off steam
- Pour the potatoes, butter, cream, pepper, and 2 teaspoons salt into a large mixing bowl and use a hand masher, potato ricer, or hand mixer to mix the potatoes together to the desired consistency
- Less mixing will leave a few potato lumps within the mash, while more mixing will lead to super smooth potatoes – but be careful not to over-mix as this will lead to gluey potatoes
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