ashed potatoes are arguably the most popular side dish for everything from steak to fried chicken to turkey dinner. Everyone loves mashed potatoes. Except the cook. Ask any cook and they will tell you how stressful it is to make the potatoes and get them to the table hot and the mess it leaves in the wake. However, even with the stress and mess, you still have to make the mashed potatoes. So I went on a mission for make ahead mashed potatoes.
I tried multiple recipes and techniques. What I discovered is that there are two really great ways to make Mashed potatoes in advance.
Make your favorite Mashed Potatoes. If you don’t have a good recipe, try mine. If you are making them for later that day, up to about 2.5 hours in advance, you can put them right in the crock pot on “warm” and they will stay wonderfully. Stir occasionally and if needed, add more liquid.
If you are making a day or two in advance, store right in the crock pot with saran wrap and the lid. About 2.5 hours before serving time, remove the saran wrap and place crock pot on “low.” Once the potatoes loosen up and become creamy again, stirring occasionally. If too dry, just add small amounts of milk or cream as needed to get the consistency you are looking for. They will stay well for up to 4 hours. They will stay even longer, but that is the point where I see them start to dry out so I like to keep it under 4.
When you are making mashed potatoes and only need to make them a few hours in advance rather than a day or so, another great way to keep them hot is to use a double boiler. A double broiler is simply a pot with just enough water in the bottom to barely touch the glass bowl you will set inside the pot. Bring the water to a simmer and control your heat to keep whatever is in the glass bowl hot. You will need a cover. A double boiler is especially good for making truffled mashed potatoes that you probably would not want to make too far in advance. This method will keep the potatoes hot for up to two hours, but I like to try and keep it to 1.5 hours or less.
Feaster's tips for excellent mashed potatoes:
- Using a potato ricer to make mashed potatoes will ensure fluffy potatoes.
- Russet potatoes are my favorite for mashing
- Warm your butter into your cream in a sauce pan before adding to your mash
I use the UberChef Potato Ricer
The secret to great mashed potatoes is using a potato ricer and warming your butter and cream before adding them to the potatoes
- 3 lbs russet potatoes
- 1.5 cups half & half (organic if possible)
- 8 tbs butter
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
Peel the potatoes, slice in half, and place into a large pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until easily pieced with a knife. (Check at 15 minutes and then at 5 minute intervals.)
Drain and mash the potatoes using a potato ricer.
While mashing, heat the half-and-half and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts.
Slowly mix in the cream sauce, salt and pepper until well incorporated and creamy. Taste for seasoning.
Try adding in parsley, chives or parmesan cheese to bring it up a notch.