Generally speaking, the rule for getting the most delicious mashed potatoes is “more butter.” Peel, cut up, and boil the potatoes, mash them up with a lot of butter and salt … add even more butter…and voila! Perfection.
In the chaos of the holiday, though, sometimes a little time saving trick on Thanksgiving morning is very welcome.
Cue the crock pot.
- 6 pounds Yukon Gold (or russet, or a combination) potatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or white if you have it and don't want the black flecks)
- 1½ cups milk
- ½ cup caramelized onions (optional)*
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk
- Peel the potatoes and cut into small 1-inch chunks
- Lightly grease the insert of your slow cooker with butter or cooking spray.
- Put the potatoes into the crock pot.
- (If you want garlic mashed potatoes, add smashed garlic cloves now.)
- Add salt and pepper.
- Add 1½ cups milk and stir to combine.
- Cover the crock pot and cook for about 5 hours on "High," until potatoes are tender. Then turn the heat down to "Warm."
- (At this point, if you're adding caramelized onions, add them now.)
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over very low heat; stir in 2 cups of milk and combine, warming but not boiling.
- (At this point, you can remove the garlic cloves if you wish)
- Using a potato masher or ricer, mash the potatoes in the pot until smooth, then slowly add the warm milk and butter mixture. Be patient if it looks too liquid-y --- it will soak in very shortly!
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Keep warm on the "Warm" setting until ready to serve.
- *We like to keep caramelized onions in the freezer that we've cooked in the slow cooker; just slice onions and put into the crock pot on a low setting for about 8 hours.