Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd

Mashed Potatoes For A Crowd

Details

Simple, light and fluffy mashed potatoes.
  • Serves: 10 to 12
  • Active Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 53,750
  • Success: 97%

Steps

Step 1: Prepping the Potatoes

• 8 lb Yukon Gold or russet potatoes

Method

For perfectly-white mashed potatoes, peel and remove any eyes with the edge of your peeler or paring knife.

Rinse the potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and dice into 1 1/2" -inch cubes. For light and fluffy mashed potatoes, it’s important to cut them into smaller, even-sized pieces. This will help them cook faster and more evenly. If you were to cook the potatoes whole, the outside would be overcooked and absorb too much water by the time the inside was fully cooked through.

Place the potatoes into a pot and fully cover with cold water.

Step 2: Cooking the Potatoes

• 1 1/2 tbsp table salt
• 4 bay leaves

Method

To cook the potatoes, add the salt and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim occasionally/ As soon as the potatoes come to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for about 15 to 17 minutes.

Test the potatoes by inserting a paring knife. You should feel the same resistance all the way through and they should slide easily off the knife. Alternatively, remove one of the potatoes and mash it with a fork. If it mashes easily, and looks fluffy and light, they’re done.

Remove the bay leaves and drain. Return the potatoes to the pot and mash while hot. For extra fluffy mashed potatoes, a ricer works really well, but when cooking for crowd, a masher will do the job just fine. Once done, cover and set aside, while you heat up the butter and cream.

Step 3: Mashing the Potatoes

• 2 cups half and half, cream or whole milk
• 1/3 lb unsalted butter
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
• 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Method

In a small pot, bring the butter and cream to a gentle boil over medium heat. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and set aside.

Add the cream to the potatoes a little bit at a time and mash together. The potatoes should look a little bit wet. As they sit, they’ll absorb the liquid. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, if desired.

Place thin slices of butter over the top. Cover the surface with plastic wrap. This will prevent a crust from forming. Cover and let sit, until ready to serve.

Chef's Notes

Two important things when cooking potatoes: 1) don’t over cook them; and, 2) drain them right away. If they are left to sit in the water, they’ll become waterlogged and you will end up with watery mashed potatoes.

Feel free to put them through a ricer or food mill. The reason we don’t here is there are simply too many. It would take a long time to rice them all, and they would cool down considerably. By all means, rice potatoes when making them for a smaller crowd. Ricing ensures light, fluffy and ultra-smooth mashed potatoes.

The options for flavoring mashed potatoes are endless. Add different spices and things like bacon bits, minced chives or green onions, truffle oil, different cheeses, cream-cheese, sour cream, and cream; or keep them low-fat and use skim milk. Just keep in mind, the richer the ingredients used, the richer in texture and flavor the potatoes will be.

Vegan Option: Cook according to recipe. Then add a few tablespoons of coconut oil and a bit of non-dairy milk, if needed. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

43 Comments

  • Mark D
    Mark D
    The most important component of mashed potatoes is the variety of potato used (floury instead of waxy). I have found a limited selection of potato varieties in Vancouver, none of which appear to be that floury. Joel Robuchon, for example, uses Ratte potatoes cooked (baked) in their skins. I also prefer to use a potato ricer.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes for potatoes a "ricer" is the best. But when cooking for 12 people it is a bit overwhelming. Believe me I should know, each time I am in charge of making the potatoes I use a ricer, but I curse myself each time as I squish those potatoes through that little ricer...there I am hot and flustered thinking..."why oh why, did I not use a masher". So yes, a ricer is better but when cooking for so many, go ahead and use a masher. Also, a nice combo for potatoes is half mashed potatoes, 1/4 sweet potatoes and 1/4 yams. If you want to get really fancy you can add a head of roasted garlic.
  • Lisa P
    Lisa P
    Am I the only person who ever uses a hand mix-master to mash potatoes?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Many people use a hand blender to mash potatoes (including half my family), but there are also many people that say you should never use any kind of blender to whip potatoes. Here's were I am going to give you a little of Rouxbe's philosophy, well...at least some of my philosophy...Do what makes you feel good! There are a million ways to do things. Some perhaps are better than others, but generally if it makes you feel good and you are happy with the end result then no one should care how "you" do it. There are many people in the cooking world that "cannot believe, how someone made this or that" but honestly, does it really matter. The fact that you are in your kitchen cooking and not ordering out is what really matters. So go ahead and do what makes you feel good and if you hear something or see something down the road that makes you re-think "your way" then you can try it...if you like.
  • Dave W
    Dave W
    Mmmm. Adding well-cooked and 1/4 mashed turnips or parsnips is really nice too, along with a big dollop of warmed sour cream to balance the sweetness of the root vegies.
  • Michelle L
    Michelle L
    I make mashed potatoes when serving large, caveman size roasts to big dinner parties (more than 10 people). So, this recipe is great for the quantity it produces. Usually there is some guy lurking around the kitchen who wants to help with dinner preparations so I enroll him in mashing the potatoes. The nutmeg in this recipe packs a powerful punch so go light on it. And the potatoes really absorb the moisture as they sit so I found it helpful to hold back a little of the cream/butter mix to fold in right before serving. My pet peeve when dining out lately is the over emphasis on garlic mashed potatoes so thank you for making these the "old fashioned" way. At my last cave man sized roast fest, I made the mistake of using some of the left over melted cream and butter to make the gravy. Baaaaaaaddd idea. Worst gravy I ever made. But the potatoes were great (these are so good, they really don't need gravy).
  • Dave W
    Dave W
    Here is where a good sized food mill probably comes in really handy (I really like mine). I probably wouldn't use it for my own purposes because I don't cook for a large number of people, but anyone who routinely cooks for 4 or more people should really invest in a food mill. I'm going to try a cutdown version of this recipe next week and I'm going to substitute ghee for the butter and see how that works. I'm guessing that it will give a slight nuttiness that would set it apart from the norm.
  • Dave W
    Dave W
    Just realized that I should have said "wouldn't use it for my own purposes _for this recipe_. I use the food mill quite a lot for other things though...
  • Lola H
    Lola H
    looks like potato creme:(
  • Antigoni P
    Antigoni P
    VERY EASY TO MAKE AND DELICIOUSE!!
  • Naouar E
    Naouar E
    I want to make this recipe, but make only half. Does that effect the cooking time, because I use less potatoes?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You should be fine with the same cooking time. But don't follow the cooking time exactly, no matter what amount you are doing. Cooking times are always just estimates. Follow the indicators (in the video) that tell you when the potatoes are done and you should be just fine.
  • Sally T
    Sally T
    yummy! :)
  • Sally T
    Sally T
    i dont like nutmeg is tere a nother spice witch is like nutmeg that i can put in instead? :pplease tell me thnx
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The nutmeg is optional so you can leave it out all together. However if you want to add more flavor to your potatoes you could always mash in some roasted garlic. You could also fold in some fresh herbs at the end. Really mashed potatoes make a good canvas for almost anything, so feel free to use your imagination. Hope that helps...good luck!
  • Richard yassel D
    Richard yassel D
    just butter cream, and salt. Less is more...
  • Michelle G
    Michelle G
    The real challenge of Thanksgiving dinner is(no surprise here)timing everything so it can all be served hot and still tasting good. So, this leads me to my question: I have read you can hold finished mashed potatoes in a crock pot until you are ready to serve them. I've never tried this and wondered if you or anyone who has done this thinks it's a good idea.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I have not used a crock pot, so I am not sure about that one, but I have kept them warm over a pot of hot water - like a double boiler. Like in video, I place butter on the surface of the potatoes, place plastic wrap over the surface and then place the bowl of potatoes over the pot of boiling water (about an inch or so of water is plenty).
  • Renee L
    Renee L
    I've read that it is possible to freeze mashed potatoes then heat them up in a slow cooker. Do you feel that would work with this recipe? I'd be grateful for your thoughts.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I imagine that you could freeze mashed potatoes (they do it for all of those "TV" dinners), I have just have never personally done it. As for reheating them in the slow cooker, this could also work, but I have just never tried it. Last week I read that I could freeze something that I was making (roasted red peppers) so I just took a few out of the batch that I was making and I froze them to see for myself. I think this might be your best bet...to try and freeze some mashed potatoes and heat them up and see what you think. Only you will know if there is any loss in quality and then you can determine if it is worth it in the end. Hope this helps! Feel free to let us know if it worked for you and what you thought. Cheers!
  • Susan N
    Susan N
    I used this recipe (sans nutmeg - forgot to buy it) for Thanksgiving and it turned out great. Used as a side dish it fed over 20 people for dinner. I was skeptical about the bay leaves but they add a great though subtle flavor. I made them early in the day and held them in a crock pot for a few hours(turned off and at room temperature) with the layer of butter slices. I turned it to low about 30 minutes prior to dinner, and they were wonderful. It was nice to revisit and perfect a good basic dish. Thanks!
  • Solange C
    Solange C
    Hello Can we keep the cooking water of vegetable and maybe use it in soup or gravy?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Yes, depending on what you are making, you can use the leftover liquid to add additional flavor to other dishes. For example, I often use leftover potato water when I am making perogies. I use the water for the dough and use the potatoes for the filling. Cheers!
  • Andrew W
    Andrew W
    Personally, I like to leave the the skins on the potatoes. This gives the dish a more rustic flavor and saves some time as well! Also I prefer to just mash and add some fresh chives along with milk (or cream) and butter. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano is also great in mashed potatoes.
  • Winnie W
    Winnie W
    What can be done with left-over mashed potatoes? Can they be made into a "patty" and fried? I had heard of something like that a long time ago, but I'm not sure how to go about it.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Leftover mashed potatoes can be used for many things. They can be used to make patties, such as these ones here or they can be put into quesadillas, fried in some butter with a few eggs for breakfast...really let your imagination go wild. They are neutral in flavor so will go well with many things. Cheers!
  • Winnie W
    Winnie W
    Thanks for the ideas Dawn. I'm going to give the patties a try. Never thought of putting them in quesadillas though....sounds like a good replacement for refried beans maybe. To fry them, would I need to add anything to them? Or just make sure that they're good and cold/stiff to make the pattie? Also, I'm guessing that I'd better leave it be until it browns good on the one side before turning so it won't fall apart.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Everything you mention about the frying process sounds good Winnie - trust your instincts :-) As far as adding stuff to the patties, it is sort of up to you. Just keep in mind the texture, size and moisture content of what ever you decide to add to the mix. Hope you enjoy. Cheers!
  • Terry R
    Terry R
    What about using the left-over potatoes for making gnocci, filling for pierogies, or German Style potatoe pancakes. We use them in this way. I am sure their are many more ways too! I'd like to hear them if others would please add to this list. Best Regards from North Carolina.
  • Yaara B
    Yaara B
    I made these mashed potatoes last night for a get-together with friends and they were fantastic (I also added garlic cloves to the water with the potatoes, omitted the nutmeg, food-milled everything, and added chives and chive flowers). With regards to skimming the water while the potatoes are coming to a boil and simmering, If you're not planning to reuse the water in another application, what is the benefit of skimming? I am guessing that when you strain the potatoes some of the scum might stick to the potatoes and you don't want to rinse them, because you want to keep your potatoes hot for the mashing. Am I on the right track?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You are correct and on the right track. When cooking, skimming is a good habit to get into to remove any sort of impurities that float to the surface. It helps to keep the liquid clean and clear. Cheers!
  • Michele G
    Michele G
    If I add cream cheese to the mashed potatoes do I omit anything? Would red potatoes work for this recipe?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You could use red potatoes, such as Desiree. As for what you would leave out if you want to add cream cheese, it really depends on how much you use and what you want the final texture and flavor to be. I have not tried adding cream cheese to mashed potatoes (for this recipe) so it's hard to say exactly what you need to do. This is where you need to experiment to see what works for you. You could try adding a bit of cream cheese and then a bit less of the other dairy products and then go from there. Or you could just start with the cream cheese and just use a bit of butter or cream. Again, it just comes down to experimenting and tweaking as you go. Just make sure the potatoes are creamy enough so they don't sit like a big solid pile of potatoes on the plate. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Randy B
    Randy B
    My wife purchased red potatoes for mashing a few weeks ago and the result was not good at all. I'm not sure what went wrong, but when I added the warm cream and butter, they formed a paste-like goo. Honestly, I could not get them to release and become fluffy - they were just sticky, stringy and inedible. I have always used yukon to get great results so I would not use red.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Red potatoes tend to be more waxy and can indeed turn somewhat gluey (depending on the variety). You can still use red potatoes but you may want to try just smashing them and adding a bit of butter/sour cream, green onions, etc. (as opposed to fully mashing them). Starchier potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or Russets will work better for mashing. Cheers!
  • Randy B
    Randy B
    Thanks Kimberly. I was sure someone would come on and tell me I must have done something terribly wrong to mess up the red potatoes. As you can imagine, trying to keep your potatoes in a near serving state while you cook the rest of the meal is hard enough - trying to unstick glue in that situation is frustrating beyong belief. One question: I like to clarify butter while I'm boiling my potatoes and then add the foamy milk solids to the mix. This usually works very well. Do you think adding those solids to the red poatioes could have caused the glue?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    I don't think the milk solids had anything to do with it. The type of potato and its starch content will have the most affect on the texture/fluffiness. Even though cooking is sometimes frustrating, you are always learning something so it is never a failure. It just comes down to practice and understanding your ingredients. The dish will be better next time and you'll understand why. Cheers!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    As Kimberley mentioned, not all potatoes are created equal, so don't dismiss all red potatoes. I say this because I often cook my mashed potatoes using red "Désirée Potatoes" and they are delicious. The perfect balance of flavor and creaminess. These type of red potatoes, are great using most methods of cooking. In fact, I am currently roasting some as I type this comment :-) Cheers!
  • Caroline D
    Caroline D
    how is the roasted garlic added to the potatoes? is the garlic mashed and then added to the potatoes.
  • Caroline D
    Caroline D
    may i make the mashed potatoes a day ahead? To heat up the potatoes do I place it over a double boiler?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Roasted garlic can be added while while you mash the potatoes. The sooner you add them, the more they will be incorporated into the potatoes. As for making the mashed potatoes ahead, we do not recommend this. We prefer to make them the day of as they are fluffier and more flavorful the day they are made. Just be sure that you have most of your other prep done ahead and the actual cooking and mashing shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Caroline D
    Caroline D
    Is it okay to soak the cut potatoes in water overnight or will soaking affect the potatoes? Just trying to save time. thankis
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes you can soak the potatoes in water overnight. In fact, some say that is can create a fluffier mashed potato as some of the starches leech out into the water. Just make sure that the potatoes are fully covered--otherwise, they will turn brown. Before cooking, drain the water and continue according to the recipe. Cheers!

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.