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Classic Potato Mash

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

A pinch of nutmeg adds a subtle savory flavor to traditional mashed potatoes.


  • 2 lb. yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into 2- to 2-1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk; more as needed
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 410
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 220
  • Fat (g): 25
  • Saturated Fat (g): 15
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 65
  • Sodium (mg): 340
  • Carbohydrates (g): 45
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 5


  • Put the potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan with enough cool water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and cook at a gentle boil, skimming off any foam, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain well in a colander, letting the steam rise off the potatoes for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in the saucepan until the butter is melted. Season with 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. For a rustic texture, return the potatoes to the pan and mash with a potato masher to the consistency you like.
  • For a smooth texture, pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill into the saucepan and stir to combine. (For really smooth potatoes, whisk the potatoes briefly.)
  • Season to taste with more salt and pepper and thin with additional milk, if necessary, before serving.

Rosemary and garlic Follow the recipe but add 2 large peeled cloves of garlic to the potatoes at the start of cooking. Then add 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary along with the milk and butter. This is spectacular with roast lamb.

Saffron and shallot Follow the recipe but heat only the butter. Add 1 small finely chopped shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the milk and 2 pinches of saffron threads and bring to a simmer before adding the potatoes. Serve with scallops or shrimp or some poached smoked haddock.

Fresh herbs Follow the recipe and stir in 1 Tbs. each of finely chopped fresh chives, parsley, and dill just before serving. This is especially good with fish.


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