This creamy mashed potatoes recipe makes our favourite comfort food side dish, perfect potato mash. Serve with a great steak, such as cote de boeuf, a classic roast chicken, some lovely sausages, or a crispy skinned fish fillet. It’s the perfect accompaniment.
I had many people ask for my creamy mashed potatoes recipe after seeing the mash potatoes that featured in my five-spice crispy pork belly recipe. A simple dish, my creamy mashed potatoes rely on a very simple formula: one kilo potatoes, 250 grams butter, and 250 millilitres of full cream milk. Add a good few twists of a salt grinder – and fresh pepper if you wish – and you have a classic creamy mash.
I’ve always been fascinated by how chefs can make something so simple taste so fantastic. It was dining at Chef Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon restaurant in Paris some years ago that I truly realised how extraordinary a great mashed potato can taste.
A few months later I realised just how famous Chef Robuchon’s mash was when we had a version of it as a side dish at a great restaurant in Brussels. It was called “creamy mashed potatoes à la Chef Joël Robuchon. It was as good as their triple-cooked fries, which the city is famous for.
Another time was at Guillaume Brahimi’s Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne where Guillaume served it alongside the best roast chicken and chicken jus that I’ve ever eaten. It is my “death-row” meal to this day. He was kind enough to share his recipe, which I still make today, and which is the recipe upon which I based my creamy mashed potatoes recipe.
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Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe – How to Make the Perfect Mash
There are two big factors in achieving the perfect creamy mashed potatoes. First, it’s essential to choose the right kind of potato.
Secondly, achieving a creamy texture is dependent on how much moisture you can remove from the mash before adding the milk and butter.
The best types of potatoes for making this creamy mashed potatoes recipe are Dutch Cream, Nicola, Desiree, King Edward, Bison, Ratte, or Yukon Gold.
Desiree potatoes are the ones I most commonly use, but any potatoes that you can find that are ideal for baking and mashing are the best. Baking? Yes, because that’s one of the points of difference with my creamy mashed potatoes recipe.
While unpeeled potatoes (never peel your potatoes before cooking if you want creamy mash potatoes) don’t absorb too much water when boiled, the potatoes do absorb some water, particularly when you’re poking the potatoes to check doneness.
Roasting the potatoes not only dries them out more, you can more scientifically control cooking using a digital cooking probe thermometer to tell you when the potatoes are done. It’s really important to not over bake them so that only the outer skin is crispy.
A friend of mine who worked in a sadly now-closed restaurant in Kings Cross in Sydney told me that at 5:00 pm every evening all the staff – including front of house staff – gathered around a few tables scooping out the flesh of the freshly baked potatoes that were cooked on a bed of salt.
The head chef insisted that it had to be done while the potatoes were still hot! The enticement and reward was the staff meal straight afterwards before the doors opened for service. I’d risk potato burns for that!
Tips to Making this Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe for the Perfect Potato Mash
While some chefs, particularly French-trained chefs, like to use a food mill, I prefer to use a potato ricer followed by a tamis, pushing the potatoes through with a bowl scraper.
Some creamy mashed potato recipes instruct you to rice (or mill) the potatoes and add the milk and butter (or cream) before pushing the mash through a tamis and reheating before serving. It’s a method I’ve now adopted as it gives a much creamier result.
After a blind tasting in our Siem Reap kitchen, everyone preferred the texture of the mashed potatos made using the first method of ricer, tamis, then onto the stove.
A tip on the use of cream in making mash: I have seen plenty of creamy mashed potatoes recipes that use cream instead of full cream milk. I find it a little too much and I prefer the way the milk blends with the mash. Besides, this dish is rich and creamy enough as it is.
And on that note, you can make a good mash using half the amount of butter. But to make an amazing creamy mash potatoes you need lots of butter, no apologies.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 1 kilo Desiree or other potatoes mentioned above, unpeeled
- 250 ml full cream milk warmed
- 250 grams butter cubed and softened
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and place the potatoes on a rack in the oven
- The potatoes should take at least 45-50 mins to be baked through.
- Test with a wooden skewer – the skewer should slide easily though the potatoes — or use an instant read thermometer.
- The internal temperature you’re after is 100°C (210°F)
- When the potatoes are baked through, as soon as you can handle the potatoes (I use an oven mitt) halve them and using a dessert spoon, scoop out the potato flesh into the ricer.
- Rice each potato as soon as you’ve scooped it out.
- Push the mash through the tamis and then into a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Using a silicone spatula, constantly mix the mash until the mix is drier and ‘fluffier’.
- Slowly add the warmed milk a splash at a time. Make sure each splash of milk is incorporated before adding the next.
- If you’re not serving straight away, you can now take the mash off the heat and keep in a warm place.
- When ready to serve, add the butter a cube at a time to the saucepan over medium heat. After incorporating half of the butter, season with freshly ground salt and taste.
- Add the remaining butter and check seasoning again.
- Serve immediately.
Do you let us know if you make our creamy mashed potatoes recipe for the perfect mash as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.
A perfect recipe!
Delicious and definitely comforting
Lara Dunston says
Thanks, Scarlet – that’s what we love to hear!
I was okay with my version of creamy mashed potatoes until I’ve tried your version. It’s perfect!
Terence Carter says
Great to hear Cathie, I’ve stopped experimenting with it too. It just works!