Classic Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

By gluttonforlife
January 30, 2010
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Author Notes: I know this doesn't sound like a great way to sell these potatoes, but they taste just like the ones from my elementary school cafeteria. Their deep, earthy richness and wonderful texture come from being roasted in their skins rather than boiled. I think it's all about extracting moisture and concentrating the flavor. (Perhaps related to Tad's "old potato" theory?) Served with the creamy gravy, they are heaven on a plate. gluttonforlife

Serves: 4

Classic Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Wrap each potato in foil, then prick several times with a fork. Bake until tender, about 60-75 minutes.
  3. Heat milk, butter, salt and white pepper in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat until butter is melted.
  4. Meanwhile, unwrap potatoes and slip off skins with a knife (protect your hands!). Discard skins.
  5. With a ricer, force hot potatoes into the pan of hot milk and stir until combined. Taste and add more salt or pepper, as needed.

Sherry-Spiked Gravy

  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms (shiitakes are good)
  • 1 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) flour
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or any defatted meat/poultry stock)
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  1. Sauté bacon in large saucepan over medium heat until crisp.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat, add flour and stir briefly. Add wine, scraping bottom of pan. Stir in chicken stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until gravy thickens, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and then puree in food processor until very smooth. If you're feeling butch, push it through a fine strainer (or not).
  5. Transfer back to saucepan and warm over medium heat. Stir in sherry. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Serve in your best gravy boat alongside Classic Mashed Potatoes.

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