My mother in law asked us to bring a potato side dish to Easter dinner and my thought process went something like this: probably lamb so something with rosemary would go nicely but not roasted potatoes because they will get nasty before we get there what about garlic mashed potatoes I wonder if I could get rosemary into those maybe I should infuse the cream with rosemary like I infuse cream when I make chocolate truffles and throw in some roasted garlic for good measure. Thus was born my new favorite thing in the whole world until I find another new favorite thing in the whole world.
I make large batches of mashed potatoes. Usually at least double what is going to be consumed at a given meal. They reheat really well and it’s also really handy to have them in the fridge for making shepherd’s pie. We will frequently have a roast chicken with mashed potatoes and peas on Sunday and then I can throw together a shepherd’s pie in about 45 minutes on a Wednesday.
- Big (min 6 qt.) pot with a lid, preferably a large pot with a pasta insert
- Colander (unless you have a pasta insert for your pot)
- Small saucepan (1 qt.)
- Muffin pan (normal sized muffins, not those crazy mini muffins)
- Aluminum foil
- Vegetable peeler
- Either or a potato masher or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. As always, I recommend the stand mixer.
- 3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (I find that a waxier potato results in a creamier mashed potato texture.
- 1/2 lb unsalted butter, preferably European style
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 3 heads (no, not cloves) garlic
- 3 teaspoons (or so) of olive oil
- A handful of fresh rosemary, probably 6 or 7 4″ stalks. Dried rosemary will work but it will be a pain in the ass to get out of the cream.
- Salt and pepper
Time: It took me about an hour and a half from peeling the first potato to getting in the car with wrangling a 4 year old so let’s say 1 hour 15 minutes.
Serves: 6 greedy people, 8 normal people
- Preheat the oven to 400º
- Peel and rinse the potatoes
- Put potatoes in the big pot (preferably in the pasta insert)
- Cover with water and by cover I mean put in enough water so that there’s about a half inch of water above the highest point in the potatoes
- Put the big pot on high heat and while you are waiting for the water to boil which should take 10-15 minutes depending on your stove
- Cut the tops off of the garlic heads
- Tear/cut/extrude 3 square pieces of aluminum foil about 6″ on each side
- Line 3 holes in the muffin pan with aluminum foil
- Put a head of garlic in each piece of foil and drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil
- Wrap the foil around the garlic heads so they are encased in aluminum foil
- Put the muffin pan in the oven on a rack in the middle
- Cut the butter into chunks, probably about a quarter stick or two tablespoons each
- Pour the cream into the small saucepan
- Add the butter chunks
- Add the rosemary
- Put the small saucepan over low heat then stir periodically. Try not to let it boil.
- When the potato water starts boiling you should turn the heat down to medium low and cover it then let it sit for 25 minutes.
- Now you have a half hour to kill. It is important during this time to look very serious if anyone is watching. Since you cannot leave the hot stove, you will need a cold beer or a nice glass of wine to consume while you are stirring the cream and making sure the potatoes don’t boil over.
- When the 25 minutes are up, drain the potatoes and put them in the bowl of your stand mixer or back in the pot you used to cook them.
- Remove the garlic from the oven and let it cool off a bit.
- Carefully open the foil packets containing the garlic REMEMBERING THAT THERE IS HOT OIL IN THERE and squeeze the garlic into the potatoes
- Now you need to mash the potatoes while slowly adding the cream/butter/rosemary but while being careful to not let the stalks of rosemary go into the potatoes. A few leaves is okay but you don’t want to be fishing rosemary branches out when you are eating.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mash the potatoes to your personally preferred consistency though I highly recommend going for silky smooth mashed potatoes in this case.