These Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes are a win all around! Fluffy, creamy, buttery with a the slightest tang from buttermilk and a nutty aroma from browned butter. A perfect side for any dinner needing a little spud action and should definitely be on the menu for your THANKSGIVING DINNER!
A go to mashed potato recipe is like a Little Black Dress; you never know when you are going to need it, and you are always grateful when you pull it out and it’s just the trick for the occasion!
I have been down many-a-mashed potato road: peeled, unpeeled, mashed, smashed, riced, herbs, garlic, cheeses…there are A LOT of directions you could drive this endeavor.
But sometimes, you just want the BASICS. This recipe for Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes is that.. basic, with the slightest hint of elevation. Which makes them a perfect pair for truly anything that calls for a side of mashed potatoes!
WHY BROWNED BUTTER?
Making brown butter, aka “browned butter” or beurre noisette. Which literally translates as “hazelnut butter”. Very aptly named indeed, as this refers to the golden-brown color it presents and the rich nutty taste of the butter once it’s been cooked over heat.
Butter is about 80% fat and 20% milk solids and water. When you cook it over heat for several minutes, some of the moisture evaporates. Meanwhile, the sugars in the milk solids begin to caramelize and the milk solids themselves undergo the Maillard Reaction and turn brown and flavorful.
Brown butter really elevates a recipe and gives it some pizzaz! Try browned butter cookies, pasta, sauces for seafood, meats, rice krispy treats.. like seriously anything can be enhanced with just one simple extra step of browning butter.
The flavor of buttermilk is reminiscent of yogurt, which gives the mashed potatoes a little tangy quality, from its high lactic acid properties. I think this works wonders in mashed potatoes, the little twinge of acidity is welcome addition to balance the richness from the butter. Also buttermilk will make your mashed a bit thicker than regular milk, yet not as heavy as when cream is added. of a tangy flavor as it is high in lactic acid.
Just be aware that buttermilk will curdle if warmed too quickly. Therefore, when adding to the butter make sure you have taken the pot off the heat.
Oh, and if you only have whole milk on hand at the moment- you can actually turn regular milk into buttermilk!! All you need to do is add 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until you see it curdle, give it a stir, and VIOLA! You now have buttermilk!! Isn’t science fun?!?
RICER IS NICER
I like my mashed potatoes nice and smooth with no clumps. Go figure, cause I actually like pulp in my orange juice… I know – I’m an enigma!
A ricer is a handy little tool, which you can easily purchase here, if you don’t already have! Forcing the cooked potato through the ricer’s small holes creates rice-sized pieces of potato and the air that is incorporated while pressing contributes to the light fluffiness.
If your going to be stubborn about it and not use a ricer, just please- whatever you do.. don’t opt for a fast mixers like a blender or food processor. This is a surefire way to get a gluey mess!
Try My Other Potato Recipes:
Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
- 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut to similar size
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Place the potatoes in a medium pot and add just enough water to cover plus an inch or two.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, and once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes once the simmering begins; the potatoes are ready when a paring knife or fork can be inserted into the center with little resistance.
- Drain potatoes, then wipe the pot dry.
- Run the potatoes through a potato ricer if you like very smooth texture, for a little chunkier texture, a masher will do.
- In your empty potato pot, melt butter over medium heat and continue cooking once it has melted, stirring almost constantly, until brown bits form around edge and bottom and it smells nutty.
- Remove from heat and then stir in the buttermilk, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Add the riced potatoes and fold into butter and milk. Do not over work!
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste, if needed