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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


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º
  2. Peel and rinse the potatoes
  3. Put potatoes in the big pot (preferably in the pasta insert)
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Cut the tops off of the garlic heads
  7. Tear/cut/extrude 3 square pieces of aluminum foil about 6″ on each side
  8. Line 3 holes in the muffin pan with aluminum foil
  9. Put a head of garlic in each piece of foil and drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil
  10. Wrap the foil around the garlic heads so they are encased in aluminum foil
  11. Put the muffin pan in the oven on a rack in the middle
  12. Cut the butter into chunks, probably about a quarter stick or two tablespoons each
  13. Pour the cream into the small saucepan
  14. Add the butter chunks
  15. Add the rosemary
  16. Put the small saucepan over low heat then stir periodically. Try not to let it boil.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Remove the garlic from the oven and let it cool off a bit.
  21. Carefully open the foil packets containing the garlic REMEMBERING THAT THERE IS HOT OIL IN THERE and squeeze the garlic into the potatoes
  22. 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.
  23. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  24. Mash the potatoes to your personally preferred consistency though I highly recommend going for silky smooth mashed potatoes in this case.