Tyler Florence Ditches The Water For The Most Flavorful Mashed Potatoes

There seems little to improve upon in the realm of mashed potatoes. But what if you're making a big mistake during the most fundamental steps of creating the starchy side dish — like when you're boiling the potatoes? Chef Tyler Florence thinks you are and has a much tastier solution to the boiling conundrum. Yes, the man who gave us permission to top our burgers with triple cream brie has more rich culinary secrets to share. 

His theory is that the unique earthy flavor of the potato is lost when you dump out its boiling liquid, which in most cases is water. Cooks don't necessarily crave watery mashed potatoes, so how do we incorporate that flavorful cooking liquid back into the mashed potatoes? For Florence, it's all about swapping out the water for heavy cream and milk. This rich trade-off will still help you boil the potatoes, but yield a leftover liquid that you'll actually want to incorporate into your mash. 

How to boil your potatoes in butter and heavy cream

Florence kicks off his recipe with a couple of pounds of peeled and diced Yukon gold potatoes. He places them in a pot and covers them with a 1:1 blend of heavy cream and whole milk or half and half. This should take about two cups each (four cups dairy total) to completely cover the potatoes. You can also add aromatics like garlic and herbs at this point. Next, you'll bring the mixture to a gentle simmer rather than a roiling boil, as dairy is more delicate than water and can burn if heated too high. Then you'll simmer the potatoes in their dairy bath for roughly 15 minutes or until tender. 

When it comes time to drain off the liquid, have a bowl stationed underneath your colander so that it can catch all of the infused dairy. After you've mashed your potatoes, mix back in your potato-infused cream a little bit at a time. You may not need all the liquid, so hold back some until you feel you've reached your desired consistency. Then adjust the seasonings to your taste and bask in the glory of the most flavorful mashed potatoes you'll ever make.