When company’s coming we pull out all the stops and make the creamiest and smoothest potatoes we know how! The secret is…our mashed potatoes aren’t mashed at all, but put through a ricer or food mill. Instead of a rustic mash the texture is smooth and perfect for making a “gravy lake” in the center. We know, we know, there are purists who will say you can’t call it mashed if it’s not mashed but potato puree sounds scary so we’ve agreed to call it an elegant mash!
Call them what you will, this is not the recipe to skimp on the fat and cream. This dish is all about the little details… The butter, crème fraîche, and heavy cream all play an important role in the richness and texture of the final dish. If you can’t find crème fraîche in your area you can substitute with a really good quality sour cream or full fat Fage plain yogurt.
Don’t forget to infuse the cream with the aromatics — it’s an extra step but adds depth to the flavors. And, pop the drained potatoes back into the hot pot for at least 30 seconds to dry out the potatoes which makes them even fluffier.
Watch for the tip at the end of the video on how to keep the potatoes warm — it’s worth the price of admission we promise! Happy Start-to-the-Holiday Season!
Crème Fraîche Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds (about 3 large) russet potatoes
Handful of kosher salt
½ cup heavy whipping cream
4 to 5 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
½ stick unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
½ cup crème fraîche
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters and place in a large saucepan. Cover the potatoes with at least an inch of cold water. Add the salt and bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat with peppercorns, bay leaf, and garlic to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and return potatoes to the pot to allow the potatoes to dry.Process the potatoes through a food mill or ricer. Toss in the butter to the hot potatoes as you work. Fold in the crème fraîche and heavy cream and gently fold until the potatoes are thick and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper.