There is a rule somewhere that says you should use russet potatoes in mashed potatoes. To make the Ultimate Mashed Potatoes you have to break that rule.
This is a time-tested, years-old recipe. When the holidays come around, the entire family insists that I provide the mashed potatoes. I’ve been to Culinary school taught by a French chef. He demonstrated his method for making mashed potatoes and he passed them around for the students to taste. I took some home for my wife. We both agreed that mine are better.
Potatoes and Starch Levels
Various types of potatoes have different starch levels. Russets are high-starch potatoes. Due to that starch they can result in a very creamy mashed potato. This is because all that starch absorbs liquid like crazy – Which is why you should boil russets just cut in half and still in their skins. I achieve that creaminess a different (and in my opinion, better) way.
Potatoes like red (new) potatoes are low-starch potatoes. They are great for roasting and in salads because they hold together well.
Then there are medium-starch potatoes like Yukon Golds. For me, Yukon Golds have more flavor than russets. I use them in my mashed potatoes because I want to achieve the creaminess with cream and butter instead of potato starch.
3 – 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered.
1-2 cups heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes until you can pierce them easily with a fork. You do have to monitor them because if they boil too long they’ll absorb too much water and fall apart.
When the potatoes are sufficiently tender drain them and then put them back in the pot over low heat. Your objective is to dry the potatoes a little.
Once the surface moisture has evaporated, Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer. I place the potato ricer right over the serving bowl.
Add the stick of butter and mix until the butter is melted.
Add the Parmigiano Reggiano and mix until it is melted into the potatoes.
Add cream a little at a time until the potatoes are the level of creaminess that you want. This is personal preference.
Salt and pepper to taste. You may be surprised at the amount of salt you need to add. By adding a couple pinches at a time and stirring it in well, you’ll reach a point where your taste buds say ‘Yes!’