It’s that time of year. After Halloween, after daylight savings time, when it’s dark by 4pm and we’re all anticipating our winter hibernation. Suddenly it’s perfectly acceptable to eat comfort food for 3 meals a day. And what is better comfort food than mashed potatoes? Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes.
Initially I got this idea from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen (because clearly from the last few posts, you have figured out that she is one of my culinary crushes). But, the last time I was making the fabulous recipe from her cookbook, I realized that I was far too lazy to do it her way. And I didn’t actually have some of the ingredients. No worries. My improv skills have greatly improved after the years, and turns out my family liked my version better. Win.
So let’s talk about brown butter. (or should it be browned butter? I digress) Browning the butter gives these potatoes an advantage that no other potatoes have. The nutty goodness smells wonderful and tastes even better. This additional 5-10 minutes is worth it. Even for those of us who are lazy cooks.
Did I mention I was a lazy cook? Because really, I cannot be bothered to peel potatoes. Now this is just me, and of course this recipe will be equally wonderful if you have more patience than me and choose to peel them (I will even tell you when to do it), but even the pickiest of eaters in my house have learned to eat the peels and like them.
And the ultimate in laziness? The original recipe calls for putting the potatoes through a potato ricer. Now this is a great idea, and leads to a great texture-but who has the patience to put 2 pounds of potatoes through a ricer? Not me. And the last time I tried this several years ago, I was so anxious to get it done that I overloaded the potato ricer and bent my ricer-to the point where it is now non-functional. Didn’t help that I had left the skins on and it turns out that you cannot rice potatoes that have there skins still on. (You are welcome for that now very obvious tidbit)
No worries. I have a stand mixer. And it turns out that a stand mixer works perfectly for me. Oh, I’m sure that there are the naysayers out there. Too starchy, too lumpy, too something. But for those naysayers, I say, well, than this may not be the recipe for you. For the rest of you lazy cooks, enjoy!
It really all comes down to the type of mashed potatoes you prefer. If you are looking for light and perfectly smooth, well, then you may want to keep looking, Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes may not be the recipe for you. If you want dense but creamy with a bit of texture, honey, you are home.
- 2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes
- 8 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt + extra for salting the water
- Freshly ground pepper
- Italian parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- Fill a medium sized pot with water.
- Place potatoes into the pot, salt the water, and then turn heat to high, bringing water to a boil.
- Turn down to a simmer and simmer potatoes for 25-30 minutes.
- While the potatoes are simmering, place the butter into a small saucepan.
- Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring while first it foams, then becomes clear, then begins to turn brown, about 5-10 minutes.
- (*Beware-the time between brown butter and burnt butter is very short. You really should watch this whole process)
- Remove brown butter from heat and then set aside.
- When potatoes are fork tender, drain and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- (If you are going to peel the potatoes, do it before putting them into the bowl of the stand mixer, but trust me, you don't need to!)
- Add the sour cream, salt and a pinch of pepper to the stand mixer and then mix until chunky.
- Add the brown butter and then continue to mix until desired consistency (they will never become completely smooth with this method-don't try).
- Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Remove from stand mixer and serve warm.
- Garnish with Italian parsley if desired.