Like many people, I believe the mashed potatoes that I grew up eating are the best ever. The mashed potatoes that both my Dad and my Mom made were creamy, rich, and very tasty. So tasty, in fact, that I could just eat a whole bowl of them sans salt, pepper or sauce, and as a child I was determined to make mashed potatoes just like my parents when I was an adult After many attempts, I have yet to replicate them perfectly, and have come to the conclusion that I will not be able to. And recently, I figured out the possible reason why I have not yet been able to get the taste just right – Sulphur, iron and ‘aged’ nutmeg. As much as I resented the typical sulphur and iron content in the water on the farm, I think those elements actually contributed to the tastiness of the mashed potatoes. Or it could have been the copious amounts of nutmeg that was added to the potatoes. It was necessary for so much nutmeg to be added to the potatoes because the nutmeg that my parents used came from the restaurant they once owned and operated up in Canada’s Great White North…20+ years ago. Now, as important as it is to use fresh herbs and spices for obvious reasons, there are some concessions my parents made in order to prevent waste. Not only did they bring nutmeg to the farm from the restaurant up north, they brought large containers of black peppercorns and garlic salt! I am pretty sure the containers are still on the farm, but the contents have since been replaced. Coming to grips with the reality that I won’t ever be able to replicate the mashed potatoes my parents made, helped me forge on and develop a recipe for delicious mashed potatoes, without sulphur, iron and ‘aged’ nutmeg. This recipe is just as rich, creamy and tasty as my parents’ mashed potatoes, but different, and I am ok with that, because different is delicious.
I prefer to use red potatoes because of their high starch content – but Yukon Gold potatoes are also excellent for mashed potatoes. Because most of the nutrients in the potatoes are found in the skin, I peel about half of the potatoes for added nutrition. I also like the color and texture that the skins add to the finished product! After you’ve washed and peeled half f the potatoes, cut them up into 2 inch cubes, add salt and cover with water.
As your potatoes are cooking, begin grating the cheese, and measuring out the milk.
Once the pre-mashing is done with the masher, add the spices, warm milk and butter. Use an electric beater or a stand mixer to beat in the cheese until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- 2½ pounds red potatoes or yukon gold potatoes
- 1⅓ cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups shredded gruyère cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- salt to taste
- Wash, peel half of the potatoes (unless skin is too tough), cut into 2" pieces and place in a large sauce pan.
- Cover with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt, cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook over medium high heat, checking to make sure the water doesn't boil over, for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes test done. To test if potatoes are tender, take a paring knife and pierce a potato. If the potato slides off the knife then it is done.
- Drain potatoes and return to pot, and cover with lid.
- Heat milk and butter until hot but not boiling. Mash potatoes with potato masher, add nutmeg and pepper.
- With an electric beater or stand mixer, beat in cheese and milk mixture until smooth. Add salt to taste.
- Sprinkle with more cheese, pepper and parsley if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!