Perfect Mashed Potatoes - A Family Feast

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings


Another thing to note: This recipe is written for a busy home cook who is trying to serve their Thanksgiving menu foods on the table at the same time. We share our tips in the recipe for keeping the mashed potatoes hot – but not overcooked – while the last-minute foods for your meal are cooked.


  • 4 pounds russet potatoes (about five large potatoes)
  • 1 head of garlic (or about 8 large cloves)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chives for garnish


  1. Fit a medium to large pot with a steamer basket and bring water up to the bottom of the basket. Set aside.
  2. Have a large stainless steel bowl standing by that will fit in the pot once the steamer basket is out. The bowl should be large enough to hold onto the rim of the pot without touching the bottom. That bowl will be used twice, see next step.
  3. Fill the stainless steel bowl half filled with water and set on your counter.
  4. Place a cutting board near the bowl half filled with water.
  5. Begin peeling and cutting the potatoes one at a time, placing pieces into the bowl of water. Cut each potato in half the long way then each half in half the long way again. Then cut each of these quarters into thirds giving you twelve 2” sizes pieces. Repeat for the other potatoes placing in the water as you cut.
  6. Peel the garlic and cut each clove in half from top to bottom and lay them in the steamer basket. Drain the potatoes and place on top of the garlic. Cover and bring the pot to a boil then reduce to medium simmer and simmer 25 minutes covered or until the potatoes are fork tender. Check after 20 minutes.
  7. While the potatoes are steaming, heat half the cream and butter in a sauce pan just until the butter melts.
  8. When the potatoes are done, use a potato ricer with the insert with largest holes and push the cooked potatoes and cooked garlic through the ricer into the same stainless steel bowl used before. Alternatively if you do not own a ricer, use a hand potato masher and mash in the same bowl. Using the large holes on the ricer will make the potatoes a tiny bit lumpy which is what we want here. Add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes and mix vigorously with a firm wooden spoon. If your family likes mashed potatoes with no lumps, take the mashed potatoes that you just added half the cream and butter to and with a spatula, press the mixture through a fine sieve. This step is not necessary unless you like them really finely mashed.
  9. Take the pot that the potatoes were cooked in and fill with water just high enough to reach the bottom of the stainless steel bowl bottom and bring to a boil. Place the bowl of mashed potatoes over the hot water and lower the heat and cover until ready to serve.
  10. Heat the remaining cream and butter with the salt in the same sauce pan as before.
  11. When your dinner is ready and you are ready to serve, add the remaining hot cream and butter to the warm potatoes and whip or beat, adjust seasoning and serve in serving bowls garnished with chopped chives.
  12. If you are making this all in one step, heat all of the cream, butter and salt and add to the potatoes that you mashed. Adjust seasoning and serve with chives for garnish.