no, i don’t think you are handicapped. i know most people can make mashed potatoes. but therein lies the majesty of them. anyone can make them, and it is because of this fact that so few can make them really well. there are pancake houses and fried chicken joints all over the world who claim to have the greatest gravy of all time. and i know you know why. its because their taters suck, and you have to cover them with something.
hang onto your pants, things are gonna get messy. these aren’t no boxed mashed potatoes.
- 1 onion
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
- a hearty portion of bacon or ham
- 1 to 2 large sweet potatoes (or 3 to 4 regular potatoes)
- black pepper
- heavy whipping cream
- a potato masher
- chicken bullion
- peel your sweet potatoes, and chop them into bite-sized pieces. if you are using regular potatoes, you don’t necessarily have to remove the skins, especially with younger potatoes. i generally don’t, simply because they hadveawesome texture and they hold the majority of the nutrients that potatoes contain. place them in the water, cover, and wait for a boil.
- add a cube or two of bullion (or a few spoonfuls of the powdered stuff) so that the broth is nice and strong. remember, don’t be wimpy. you are flavoring the potatoes. not drinking the broth after. sit back, and let em boil.
- mince your bacon finely, and then sautee it in a pan until browned. crispy is okay, but in this case it can kind of be a pain if it is too crispy. just make sure it is done, that’s all. set it aside, and retain the fats it leaves behind, because onions and garlic take to bacon grease like teenage girls take to kittens.
- chop your onion and garlic nice and fine. for the sake of consistency, i always remove the core of my onions. i don’t like the taste, they are sometimes kind of milky, which is not an adjective i frequently like associated with my vegetables. once it is all chopped up, add it to some nice bacon fat in a frying pan. sautee until the onion is tender and slightly translucent. set aside.
- taters done? poke them. if a fork or chopstick goes right through them, it’s show time. remove them from the heat, drain almost all the broth, add the onions and garlic, and give them a rough mash. they aren’t going to be pretty and smooth, so don’t worry.
- here’s the best part. black pepper, and salt. be smart, balance is what makes this dish excellent. overdo it with the salt and it is all over before it began. and nobody likes too much black pepper. tasteful discretion is the name of the game.
- then add the cream. oh yes, the sweet sweet cream. don’t use sissy milk because you think it is healthier. be a man. a few splashes is plenty, you don’t want soup. now mash it again.
- now give it the kicker. a much dill as you like. i prefer a ton, just because dill is a spice that compliments, not overpowers. a word to the wise: although dill is nice and earthy, and the backbone of all excellent russian cooking, it can be hard to find and is very hard to use fresh. if you can’t find it, don’t try to replace it with some other random spice you have on hand. your potatoes will be fine without, believe me. heavy whipping cream has your back, he’ll just be waiting for his russian partner in crime for the next time you make mashed potatoes.
makes a hearty portion for 2