Somehow the basic side dish of mashed potatoes has become relegated to that of a processed food. Instant potatoes from a can or box are so much faster to make than peeling, cutting and boiling. Yet on special days, wouldn’t you really prefer to have some creamy, buttery potatoes mashed by hand? I have been making them this way for about 10 years now. I learned it from a lady whose mom taught her over 50 years ago, so it has been around for some time.
10 cups Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup Cream
1 stick Butter
3 Egg Yolk
Salt and Pepper
Wait, I know what you are thinking, what is an egg yolk doing in there? Patience my friend, all will be revealed.
Set a large pot of water to boil on the stove set to high. Do not add the salt until the water is boiling as salt does make it take longer. Once it has reached a rolling boil, add enough salt to make it taste like sea water.
Peel the potatoes and cut into about 1 1/2 inch cubes. If they are too small they will break apart in the water. The key is consistency sp that they all cook at the same rate. Gently slide them into the boiling water and cover. Reduce the heat down to medium. Keep an eye on the pot for a while to make sure it does not boil over, you may have to lower the temperature. They are ready when a sharp knife can slide gently through the potato. Do not overcook or they will soak up too much water. You want them to be on the dry side so they will soak up al the flavors you are going to add. Immediately drain and return to the hot pot which is off the burner.
While the potatoes are cooking, pour cream into a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add the butter and heat till the butter is melted.
Whip the egg yolks in a separate cup.
Begin mashing the potatoes till they are the consistency you prefer. Here is where you have to work quickly. Pour the egg yolks into the potatoes and quickly whip them in. If you go too slow they WILL cook and you will have scrambled eggs. If you are a bit nervous about this, go ahead and add a little cream to the eggs first. This is where I lose some people. They worry about eating raw eggs, but you don’t have to. The fact that the potatoes are so hot as to create scrambled eggs proves they are hot enough to keep you safe. Slowly add half of the cream/butter mixture. Thoroughly mix the liquid and determine how much more you will need. Add it a little at a time (you may not need all of it) as you can always add more, you cannot however take it out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you like garlic potatoes, finely mince a few cloves and add to the cream as you heat it. This draws out the flavor into the cream and gives a giant boost to the potatoes. Of course, roasted garlic is even better.
The science of this is pretty simple. The yolks add a richness to the mashed potatoes. Heating the cream and butter allows you to control the thickness of the potatoes and prevents the food from cooling down before you get it on the table.
If you intend to keep the potatoes warm in a crock pot for a few hours, add a little extra cream then you normally would. Use leftovers for shepherd’s pie later in the week.
Let me know how it goes!