With Easter around the corner, a lot of y'all are thinking something in the potato realm as a side dish. And well you should since they are the most popular vegetable in the US!! We prefer them made every which way known to mankind, but today we are focusing on Dirty Herbed Mashed Potatoes.
What makes a mashed potato, "dirty"? Mash it with the skins on, of course. We love to keep the skins on since it makes the prep so much easier. Just cube your potatoes (wash before cutting if needed) before boiling and you are ready to go!! For this recipe, we have a few tips to pass along.
Use a thin-skin potato variety such as Yukon golds or Red potatoes and leave the skin on
Do not use a mixer, food mill, or ricer to mash the potatoes. Yukons and Reds are bit more waxy than mealy like a normal Russet. Many people swear you cannot make a good mashed potato dish with Yukons or Reds. What they forget to tell you, is that you absolutely CAN make great mashed potatoes with them, but you do not want them completely smooth. Since they are boiled thoroughly, the lumps left behind after mashing will not be hard or stiff. In fact, you most likely will not even notice them. And we prefer the flavor of the Golds and Reds to the Russet in many cases. With that in mind, just use your normal, run of the mill hand potato masher.
Use a variety of fresh and/or dried herbs. Today, we used fresh dill and chives, and dried/ground rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, and onion powder. We prefer earthy herbs here the most. Must haves for us are Chives, Rosemary, and Thyme at the very least. Do not be shy with using them. You will need a bit more than you think, but you can always add more when you taste and adjust for seasoning at the end.
Garlic powder or roasted garlic is a must. If using the powder, go easy as a little can quickly overwhelm. If using roasted garlic, go heavier since the flavor is milder and can hide in the background if you do not add enough. We start with 2 full bulbs if using roasted.
Use enough salt. Potatoes have great flavor, but like nearly all vegetables, they need a lot of salt to make them and the seasonings pop. We usually start with a quarter cup of Iodized with the following recipe. But if that is too daunting for you, start lower and work your way up as you adjust the seasonings. You can always taste and add more.
Do use heavy cream to smooth out the consistency, but we are not a fan of cream cheese in our mashed potatoes. If you prefer cream cheese, go right ahead. We promise not to kick down your door and tell you, you are doing it wrong.
Dirty Herbed Mashed Potatoes
Scale up or down as needed. This recipe makes enough for 15-20 people.
7lbs Potatoes, Yukon gold or Red Potatoes, cubed
1 lb Butter, unsalted & cut into thin slices
Seasonings. Can be fresh or dried herbs. We like earthy herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, dill, chives, onion powder
Garlic Powder or roasted garlic
1-2c Heavy Cream
1. Cut potatoes into cubes with skin on. Place in pot and fully cover with water. Bring to boil and cook until tender (about 15-20 minutes after water begins to boil)
2. Drain potatoes thoroughly and transfer to a bowl or back into the cooking pot for one less dish to clean.
3. Add rest of ingredients besides heavy cream and mash with a potato masher (we do not recommend a mixer or a food mill/ricer as these types of potatoes are better if left a bit lumpy in appearance). If making the whole recipe, start with ¼ c or so of salt (potatoes need a lot of salt to make the flavors vibrant and take away the blandness inherent to potatoes.
4. Add 1c of heavy cream to start. Mix in and add more heavy cream if desired for a smooth consistency.
5. Taste and adjust seasonings.