If comfort food had to be categorized down to one single dish it would have to be mashed potatoes. Effortlessly simple and comforting, eating a big plate of mashed potatoes is like wrapping your self up in one of Grandma's blankets. No surprises here, Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, has a killer recipe for creamy mashed potatoes that is filled with secret ingredients. (Okay to be fair, they won't be secrets after we tell you, but mum's the word when you make these for your next dinner).
We're big fans of pretty much every dish the Food Network star makes, but these tasty mashed potatoes are the creamiest and dreamiest and we promise, they're going to become a family favorite, even for the person doing the cooking. Unlike many mashed potato recipes we have come across, this recipe is actually made in advance. That's right, you can make these buttery mashed potatoes up to two days before serving. It takes just one more thing off your plate.
This mashed potato recipe makes 10 servings, which is perfect for holiday meals. But if you're worried about having too much for weeknight dinner, there are so many ways to use leftover mashed potatoes. Trust us, there's no such thing as making too much mashed potatoes.
Here's the Pioneer Woman's mashed potato recipe.
How to Make the Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes
Before we even turn on the stove we have to prepare the potatoes. The best potato for the job are russet potatoes or yukon gold potatoes due to their high-starch content. More starch means more smooth and creamy texture. This specific recipe uses five pounds of potatoes which need to be peeled and rinsed under cold water to remove any dirt or peels.
Ree likes to chop the potatoes into fourths before adding them into a large pot filled with simmering water. This is something that we seems to differ on. In our experience potatoes that are added to simmering water and cooked seems to cook unevenly compared to potatoes added to cool water then brought to a boil. We'll stick with our way and Ree with hers.
Once the potatoes are fork-tender (which just means you can easily pierce the potato chunks with a fork), drain the spuds in a colander and discard the water. Place the potatoes back in the dry pot and place on the stove over low heat, letting the potatoes steam.
Get to Mashing
Now it's time to mash! Grab your potato masher (yes, we are doing this with our hands) and start to mash away. Ree swears that using a handheld masher is better than using an electric mixer because the mixer tends to turn the potatoes gummy.
Here comes the butter. This recipe calls for two (!!) sticks of butter so plop them in. Now the secret ingredient: softened cream cheese. Add in a 8-ounce package of cream cheese into the potatoes and mash it down so the cream cheese and butter can melt.
Meanwhile pour in half-and-half. You can also make this yourself by mixing together equal parts of heavy cream and milk. Once added, grab your potato masher and mash to your heart's content. Smooth and creamy is what we are looking for.
Now to season. Sprinkle in some Lawry's seasoned salt and black pepper and call it a day. Taste the potatoes and see if the seasoning is to your liking. Don't be afraid to add more seasoning salt!
Moving along, butter up a baking dish and scoop your 'taders on in. Cut up half a stick of butter (more butter!) and place the pats of butter on top of the potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the fridge until needed.
Once you are ready to serve this delightful side dish, simply remove the potatoes from the fridge at least an hour before baking, then bake in a 350-degree oven until warmed through. The butter on top will melt into the potatoes. Yes, please.
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