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The Best Mashed Potatoes Ever

By November 18, 2020No Comments
20181024 Rosemary and Thyme Infused Mashed Potatoes with Cream IN


20181024 Rosemary and Thyme Infused Mashed Potatoes with Cream IN

The Best Mashed Potatoes Ever

Amanda Haas
With a claim like this, I have to be serious.  Melissa Brannan, formerly a test cook at Williams Sonoma and now a badass independent chef back home in Louisiana, Melissa made a version of these mashed potatoes for our test kitchen team years ago and we all flipped out. To this day, they’re the only mashed potatoes I make for Thanksgiving.  I did take the liberty of lightening them up just a little—forgive me for using half-and-half instead of heavy cream, Melissa—and I also swapped out a few of the herbs and spices she recommends.  (I have something against bay leaves and I don’t know what it is, but it didn’t make the cut in my version.)  I don’t mind mashing my potatoes with a hand-held masher, but nothing beats a ricer for lump-free potatoes.  I’ve had my ricer for 25 years and I use it once a year, but it’s worth it. 😉
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • Pot: 8-12 qt. stock pot or Dutch oven


  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and skins removed
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 10 chive stems
  • 4 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for topping if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Place the half-and-half in a medium saucepan along with the garlic cloves, thyme, rosemary, and chive stems.  Bring the half-and-half to a simmer, then turn down until it is barely simmering and is reduced by 1/2 cup, about 8-10 minutes.  
  • Strain the half-and-half through a sieve, discarding the herbs and garlic.  Set the warm half-and-half aside. 
  • Peel the potatoes and dice them into 2-inch pieces.  Place the diced potatoes in a pot of cold water with a tablespoon of salt.  Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes can gently be pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. 
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander, shaking off any excess water, then place them back in the pan over low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, to dry out the bottom of the pan for a minute, then place the potatoes in a large bowl.  (If you’d like, you can wash the pot and dry it and rice the potatoes back into this pot.)
  • Rice the potatoes in batches into the pot.  Alternatively, mash the potatoes in the pot until most of the lumps are gone. (Note: Do not place the potatoes in a food processor or stand mixer to puree.  They will become gluey and sticky.) 
  • Once all of the potatoes are mashed, pour in the cream and a tablespoon of salt and stir gently.  Add the butter and stir until melted.  Taste, adding more seasoning or butter if desired. 
  • Serve immediately, or cover and allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight.  To reheat, place the potatoes over very low heat on the cooktop and add 2 tablespoons of half-and-half and 2 tablespoons of butter.  As they begin to reheat, slowly stir them to incorporate the other ingredients, being careful not to overwork them.
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