Mashed potatoes are the second most quintessential dish on my Thanksgiving table behind cranberry sauce. There is no thankful Adri without a heap of the stuff, and it’s taken a few tries and many tweaks to nail down my favorite recipe for them.
The basics are simple – use Yukon golds, add fat before liquid, always taste between additions, and finish with aromatics at the end. Finally, keep it fun. Mashed potatoes are pretty fantastic no what you finish them with, but I’ve found my favorite – parsnips and celery bitters. Your parsnips will need to be boiled separately from your potatoes, but the sweet backnote they offer is a lovely juxtaposition to the comfort of starch and butter AND to the complex aromatics from the celery bitters. It’s a simple enough addition that the kids will still love them and gussied up enough that you won’t feel bored with them the next day. Bonus – it makes for a great layer in day-after turkey sammies.
4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into large cubes (about 3 inches)
- 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and thickly sliced
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for serving
1 cups whole milk
- 1 sleeve Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub
- Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Place potatoes in a large pot and pour in cold water to cover all by about an inch. Add salt and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer until potatoes are tender. Repeat this process with parsnips in a smaller pot, but following the same directions. These will take slightly longer than the potatoes. Drain and return potatoes to pot and set over low heat. Add parsnips to the potatoes when equally as tender. Gently stir until dry, about 1 minute.
Pass potatoes and parsnips through a ricer or use a potato masher, keeping careful to keep potatoes hot (we get gummy potatoes when they are allowed to cool). Add in the first stick of butter in 2 halves, tasting as you go. Add milk in a few smaller additions with remaining butter in between. Once your potatoes have reached their desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste along with one sleeve of bitters. Taste again and correct seasoning, adding more bitters as needed.