Forget Family Mashed Potatoes
These are the mashed potatoes that were served at all family gatherings when I was growing up, and I’m pretty sure they are the best out there. I know that I have a certain amount of bias, seeing as these are the taters of my youth, but I can assure you that every person I have ever served them to has said to me something along the lines of, “damn, those are some good potatoes.”
Here are the big tricks: waxy, skin-on potatoes, sour cream, and parmesan cheese.
Growing up, we always used red skin potatoes, but yukon golds would work as well. The thin skin and fine grain of waxy potatoes creates a lovely consistency in the mash, and the sour cream and parmesan cheese add a tanginess that makes these potatoes, to my mind at least, beyond comparison.
This recipe is what I make for big events, so it will likely need to be scaled for your weeknight dinner. That said, if you make the full five pounds, you will eat the full five pounds. And the only thing that will be upset is potentially your waistline.
Forget Family Taters
5 lbs. red potatoes
2 tbsp (~4 cloves) garlic, minced
8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2.5 cups sour cream
Salt + Pepper to taste (a lot of each)
Cut the potatoes into around 2-inch cubes and add to a large pot of boiling, well-salted water. Boil until fork tender, remove from heat, and drain the water from the pot.
Return the potatoes to the pot and add 1 stick of butter cut into 4 pieces, mix this around as it melts. Add the 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese (use the good stuff), and mix well, so that this can melt and release its oils. Add the garlic and sour cream and stir well to combine. And this is a good time for the first round of salt and pepper. Add about as much as you think you will want (you will probably double or triple it before the end)
By now, your potatoes will likely be about half mashed, but you can bring out the potato masher to finish the job. Mash the potatoes to your preferred consistency. For me, with waxy potatoes, I prefer a rustic mash that still has some nice chunks in it. But, to each their own.
When your potatoes are as mashed as you like them, taste for salt and pepper levels. I usually end up doing at least two, maybe three or four rounds of additions before I hit my ideal level.