Friday, June 01, 2018

The Complete Robuchon: Purée de Pommes de Terre (Mashed Potatoes)

Based on my long experience with cooking, cookbooks, and surfing recipe websites, I have found that the general conclusion is that this is the ultimate mashed potato recipe.  This is perfection of potato.  So I've been meaning to try it for myself, but at the same time, not wanting to be disappointed.  I mean, that's a lot of pomp.  Luckily, those 2 sticks of butter really deliver.  Now, adding all of that milk gives you a texture more along the lines of porridge than what I normally consider to be mashed potato consistency, so I'm not sure I would add the full amount next time.  BUT, these are pretty perfect on the taste buds.

Purée de Pommes de Terre (Mashed Potatoes)
From The Complete Robuchon by Joel Robuchon

2 pounds potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, rattes, or BF15, scrubbed but unpeeled
Coarse salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced and kept well chilled until used

Put the potatoes in a saucepan with 2 quarts cold water and 1 tablespoon coarse salt.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until a knife slips in and out of the potatoes easily and cleanly, about 25 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and peel them.  Put them through a potato ricer (or a food mill fitted with its finest disk) into a large saucepan.  Turn the heat under the saucepan to medium and dry the potato flesh out a bit by turning it vigorously with a spatula for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, rinse a small saucepan, pour out the excess water, but do not wipe it dry.  Add the milk and bring to a boil.

Turn the heat under the potatoes to low and incorporate the well-chilled butter bit by bit, stirring it in energetically for a smooth, creamy finish.  Pour in the very hot milk in a thin stream, still over low heat and still stirring briskly.  Keep stirring until all the milk has been absorbed.  Turn off the heat and taste for salt and pepper.

For even lighter, finer potatoes, put them through a very fine sieve before serving.

Makes 6 servings

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