Usually the words "secret ingredient" bring visions of mashed banana, finely chopped veggies, or some other secretly healthy add in. Like chocolate cake made with zucchini, or cookies made with avocado instead of butter. But not this recipe. Oh no.
The secret to getting rich, buttery potatoes in this recipe? (Hint hint, it's in the title, so not that secret!) It's the same thing I will sneak into baked good to make them taste extra rich. Browned Butter.
If you have not tried it yet, use browned butter in the next batch of cookies or coffee cake you make. You will never look back. You will fall, like I have, deeply in love with the caramelized flavor of butter that has been gently heated until golden.
Brown butter's nutty flavor pairs well with things like dessert, but in this recipe it adds dimensions to mashed potatoes you've never visited before. These mashed potatoes take one look at gravy and laugh: there is no need. They are soft and creamy and rich on their own. Eat a bowl for dinner, or try them out at breakfast, like I did. Do not be ashamed.
I top them with toasted hazelnuts to accentuate the nutty flavor of the browned butter and add texture. Then, a sprinkle of chives for color! But if you like to just keep things simple and traditional feel free to skip these and focus on just the browned butter. That's the most important part (and maybe the potatoes).
Serves: 6 | Total Time: 40 minutes
- 5 yukon gold potatoes, chopped into quarters (skin them if you like, I leave the skins on)
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped and toasted (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chives, minced (optional
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Pour 1 cup of water into a pot and fit pot with a steamer basket. Place potatoes in steam basket, and heat over medium-low heat with lid on for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened through.
- While the potatoes cook, brown the butter: heat butter in a sauce pan over low heat until it melts. Continue to heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to foam. Watch closely to prevent it from boiling over, and continue to heat until the butter becomes golden and fragrant. Here is a great tutorial.
- Strain the water from the potatoes, and place them in a mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or a fork. Add milk and 2 tablespoons butter and continue to mash until it reaches your preferred consistency (I prefer my mans potatoes a little bit chunky). Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle remaining tablespoon of browned butter over top of potatoes just before serving. Optional: Add toasted hazelnuts and chives as garnish.