Sour Mash Mash

September 29, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Inspired by Food52's latest and Tom Hirschfeld and his sipping tree... The natural spiciness of rutabagas and turnips is tempered a bit by the common russet potato and some soft butter. Then they’re all zinged up with some buttermilk and a kiss of good bourbon. Don't be stingy. We're talking root vegetables partying like rock stars here, so use the good stuff. —boulangere

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a delightful side for any fall dinner party, especially because of the richness of the root vegetables (not to mention the bourbon!). I halved the recipe for my testing and only added 1 ounce of butter to start, but it really did taste much better when I added that second ounce. The texture of the mash becomes smoother and less chunky with more butter, buttermilk, and bourbon, depending on how much you add. This is a nice alternative to the usual potato side, and I would absolutely serve this during the holidays. —graceseaying

What You'll Need
  • 2 rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea or kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 to 4 ounces butter
  • 4 to 8 ounces buttermilk
  • 1 to 2 ounces good bourbon, or more
  1. Place cubed rutabagas and turnips into a stainless steel pot and fill with cold water to cover, leaving enough water to add the cubed potatoes after a few minutes. (The first two vegetables are much more dense than the potato.) Add a couple of teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the cubed potatoes. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes more, until all can be very easily pierced with a paring knife or fork.
  2. Set a colander in the sink and drain the vegetables. Return them to the pot. Add as much butter as you’re comfortable with, then add a couple of ounces more (for a total of 2 to 4 ounces). It’s going to make the texture really silky, and the flavor will be oh so good. January's resolutions will be here soon enough. Using a hand masher, mash up the vegetables and mash in the butter. Don’t go for perfectly smooth—some lumps of texture are nice.
  3. Add 4 ounces of buttermilk and 1 ounce of bourbon. Stir to blend well. Taste. Season with some salt and pepper and taste again. Decide if they need to be a bit softer with some more buttermilk or a bit smoother with some more bourbon.
  4. Serve with something you love to people you love. Cheers!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • Bevi
  • WileyP
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • luvcookbooks

37 Reviews

boulangere October 13, 2011
Bevi, thank you for such a kind review. I am delighted you broke out the seriously good stuff. And I'm honored to be at your Thanksgiving table!
Bevi October 13, 2011
The honor is going to be ours. That's a seriously good dish and well worth the good stuff ;-)
boulangere October 6, 2011
Bevi, you don't let grass grow under your feet! Your photo is SO much better than mine. It's beautiful, and thank you profoundly for sharing it!
Bevi October 6, 2011
Oh my pleasure! This dish was such a hit! You'll read all about it soon!
GiGi26 October 4, 2011
I just read your recipe to my husband (who deems himself quite the Bourbon connoisseur) his remark......."Roots and Bourbon.......lets go for it!!" Which we will certainly do this weekend!
boulangere October 4, 2011
Oh, I hope you enjoy it . . . and it sounds like you've got access to some seriously good stuff.
GiGi26 October 4, 2011
If not it will give him a reason to go find a new one!! :-)
boulangere October 4, 2011
LOL! Please let us know which you use!
boulangere October 4, 2011
This reminds me of an interview I read with the famously reclusive Eudora Welty. The interviewer, whose name of course I can't recall, described her finally warming to him and bringing out a bottle of bourbon "so aged that the label bore only a number."
Bevi October 2, 2011
I totally missed this while away from the homestead. I'm in.
boulangere October 3, 2011
LOL! Welcome home!
WileyP October 2, 2011
Bourbon in mashed root veggies? Oh, hell - why not! It works well in ice cream and cheesecakes, in stews and casseroles, not to mention on the rocks with a splash of water. Sis can pick up some rutabagas and turnips next time she goes to the big city and we'll give this one a try!
boulangere October 2, 2011
Those big city roots are a good as any. Pour a splash on the rocks while they cook, and I hope you enjoy it.
hardlikearmour October 2, 2011
Boulange, your comment totally reminded me of Justin Wilson! I used to watch his show when I was in high school, and actually had his cook book. I gar-on-tee! He was always taking a nip from the wine or whatever he was using to cook!
boulangere October 2, 2011
Oh, what a great story! Sort of like My Drunk Kitchen with a little more restraint?
TheWimpyVegetarian September 30, 2011
I missed this one with my busy week! I love it!! Definitely going on the fall menu!
boulangere September 30, 2011
I had a heck of a week, too. Good thing this comes together so fast.
boulangere October 5, 2011
I'd love to know how you use it.
luvcookbooks September 30, 2011
thanksgiving menu inspiration, thanks!
boulangere September 30, 2011
Thank you!
Midge September 30, 2011
You win for best-named dishes all around!
boulangere September 30, 2011
LOL!!!!!!! I am seriously laughing hard OUT LOUD!!!
AntoniaJames October 1, 2011
Actually, the headnote's pretty good, too. ;o)
boulangere October 1, 2011
Thank you AJ!
boulangere September 30, 2011
I had an email from thirschfeld suggesting a little vanilla bean here. Now that's genius.
hardlikearmour September 30, 2011
OOOO, that would be good!
hardlikearmour September 30, 2011
Genius! You are awesome, boulangere.
boulangere September 30, 2011
Niknud September 30, 2011
I firmly believe that bourbon should be put in as many dishes (and glasses) as possible! Rock on!
boulangere September 30, 2011
LOL! Tap your inner rock star.
lapadia September 30, 2011
Great way to describe it, b... "zinging" the recipe up and letting it party like a Rock Star!
boulangere September 30, 2011
Sometimes the words just write themselves.
gingerroot September 29, 2011
Love this! Bourbon makes everything better.
boulangere September 30, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot.
wssmom September 29, 2011
Bourbon!! YAY!!!
boulangere September 29, 2011
Why am I not surprised you signed in here? YAY!!!!!
boulangere September 29, 2011
Seriously, the deep flavor it adds as a counterpart to the spicy notes is sooooooo good.