I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned this point during any of my frequent rampages.
I hate potatoes.
And most of all, I hate mashed potatoes.
Call me crazy, but I’ve just never understood the appeal. If I want comfort food, I’ll go for mac n’ cheese or something super chocolatey before I EVER crave mashed potatoes. See at least they taste like something (mac n’ cheese and chocolate, that is). Mashed potatoes don’t taste like anything. I don’t see the point of eating something if it’s bland and flavorless, is that wrong?
Maybe there are others like me out there, glad that I agree with their minority opinion. But most people look at you like you have 3 eyes when you bring up such quandaries. How can a sane person possibly hate mashed potatoes?
I think I’ve already answered that question but I’m here to tell you that in the past few weeks, I’ve had a revelation. Thanks to this recipe, I will eat (and actually enjoy) mashed potatoes once and for all.
Actually, it’s blasphemy to even put Joel Robuchon’s famous recipe for Pommes Puree under the same category as “mashed potatoes”. They’re not even on the same planet.
Now although it may be concerning at first, ignore the amount of butter in this recipe. Don’t try to reduce the quantity or replace it with some “healthy” olive oil margarine or crap vegan butter spread. Just go with it and when you taste these potatoes, you will understand.
I had a good laugh at this comment, left by someone back in 2009 when the recipe was first posted on the Saveur website:
“I tried to try this out but got stopped at the reading: 1/4 cup milk and 1 lb butter for 2 lbs potatoes. Can’t be right. So forged ahead with more milk and 8 tb. butter — not to die for and probably stinting on the buerre. Could you print the correct recipe? Thanks.”
Ha I’m still splitting a gut. Gets me every time.
Needless to say, don’t make the same mistake as that unfortunate soul.
from Joel Robuchon via Saveur Magazine
2 pounds potatoes such as Russet or Yukon Gold
1 pound butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup milk, warm
sea salt, to taste
Boil the potatoes with their skins on in salted water until tender. This will take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Once they are fully cooked, strain off the water and peel them. If you have a food mill or ricer, puree the potatoes using those items. However, if you don’t (which I didn’t), never fear! A box grater will do the trick too.
Place the pureed potatoes in a pot over medium/low heat. You want to cook them, stirring frequently, to remove any excess moisture, say 2-3 minutes tops. Then you can start gradually stirring in the butter, ensuring each batch is fully incorporated before adding more. Finally add the milk, and beat until everything is smooth and creamy. Because I used a grater and am also a tad OCD, I felt the need to use my immersion blender to get rid of the few minuscule lumps that remained. I figured that if I was going to the effort to make these amazing potatoes, they better be 100% perfect. Joel Robuchon doesn’t have time for lumps!
Finally, taste for salt (I didn’t feel mine needed any as the butter made them salty enough) and serve. And that’s about all there is to say.