The Definitive Mashed Potatoes

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“Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.” Fancier does not equal better. There are 3 ingredients in these mashed potatoes, none of which are milk or cream. Only one of the ingredients is potatoes.

It’s the way you assemble these ingredients that makes the difference, hence there is a method in it.

Fine, I’ll concede that butter is churned cream, but you know what I meant.



Peel potatoes and slice thinly. Thinner potato slices have more surface area and will cook faster. Place in a pot filled with cool water. Add salt, about 1 tablespoon per 2 quarts of water. Boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender, then boil them a bit more. They should want to fall apart.

Reserve about 1 cup of the potato water. Carefully drain the rest of the water from the potatoes, as the potato slices will be fragile. While the potatoes are hot, add plenty of butter (about 1/2 tablespoon for every large russet potato). Using a mixer (either a hand or stand mixer will do, just not a food processor or a blender), mash the potatoes. Because the potatoes are so soft, a fork will work wonderfully well, too.

You have set aside way more potato cooking water than you will likely need. Only add the water a spoonful at a time until you reach the desired consistency.