Let’s talk spuds. We’re approaching prime “mashed potato season” after all and this ubiquitous favorite can be perfectly smooth, creamy and lush or it can be a lumpy, gluey disaster. These Browned Butter Sea Salt Mashed Potatoes are the ultimate side dish and I’ve got a few tips on how you can make them perfect EVERY TIME.
First, let’s start with the spud. Yukon Gold. They have just the right amount of starchiness, like Baby Bear’s oatmeal in the Goldilocks fairytale. Yukon Golds are not too waxy, (which can yield a gluey mass) and not too starchy, (which lends a more granular texture).
The second must have is a potato ricer. Do not — I repeat — do not use a hand mixer to make mashed potatoes. I’ve seen it all too often — a little over-mixing and you’ve taken your potatoes from creamy, silky perfection to a “pass the gravy so I can get this gummy mess down my throat” concoction.
The potato ricer is key, passing your simmered potatoes through a fine disk that doesn’t over process them, maintaining an ideal texture for stirring – yes, stirring in your butter and milk. No beaters necessary.
For more depth, instead of using plain, melted butter, simmer it until the water in the butter evaporates and the milk solids turn nutty and browned.
Then add the hot milk, browned butter and sea salt and stir with a wooden spoon just until the ingredients are combined. No over-mixing. That’s it. The ultimate mashed potato recipe. Enjoy.
Browned Butter Sea Salt Mashed Potatoes
Browned butter adds a subtle warm, nutty flavor to traditional mashed potatoes. To get the creamiest mash - with no lumps and no gluey texture, be sure to use a potato ricer.
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1" dice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ~1 1/4 cups whole milk warmed in the microwave
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- chopped parsley
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add kosher salt and potatoes. Cook for 15-18 minutes until tender. (You can tell when the potatoes are done by poking one with a very sharp paring knife. If the potato slides off the knife, it's ready -- if it stays on the tip, it needs more time.)
While potatoes are cooking, brown the butter. Place the butter into a small saucepan and heat over medium to medium low heat, until the butter melts. The mixture will begin to foam and spit. This is the water that's present in the butter -- it's evaporating. The milk solids will start to take on a golden color, let it go to a deeper amber, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. When the butter smells nutty and the milk solids have browned, remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain the potatoes. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or better yet -- a potato ricer. Select the finest disc for the ricer and insert it. Fill the ricer with cooked potato and press it through the ricing disc. Continue until the potatoes are all processed.
Stir one cup of hot milk and 6 tablespoons browned butter into the potatoes. If mixture seems dry, add more hot milk about 2 tablespoons at a time until you achieve the desired consistency. Add sea salt and stir.
Transfer mashed potatoes to a serving bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of browned butter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
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