Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Who doesn’t love mashed taters and gravy?  They go with everything, especially giant loaves of meat.  They’re really very simple, but everyone always has their own version of mashed potatoes that they swear by.  This is a pretty basic recipe, but just like the meatloaf, it can be augmented to be any other form of mashed spud with a few simple additions (cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, a ranch dressing packet, etc).  If you are adding things to change it up though, back off on that salt throughout the recipe and add it in at the end if you need it.

mashedpotatoesandgravy

Mashed Potatoes

5-8 russet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
butter
milk
salt, pepper, parsley

I use russets for my mashed potatoes because they’re usually pretty fluffy.  There is a spectrum in texture between a russet and a red potato.  Reds and whites tend to be a little more waxy, Yukon Golds are just trendy creamy assholes, and russets are your tried and true stand-by spud.  Use what you like.  I won’t judge.  Much.  I do, however, rinse my potatoes after chopping them so get rid of any excess starch.  Rinsing them afterward is totally optional, but sometime you should see just how much starch comes off those bad boys.

Get your spuds into a big pot and cover with water and some salt.  I’m a firm believer that potatoes need salt at any opportunity.  Put that pot on a flame and get the water boiling. Meanwhile, start your gravy (recipe follows). Cover and let it go until the potatoes are soft, and drain off the water.  Get that butter in there with the garlic.  I can sauté the garlic in the butter first or roast it if you want.  Start mashing everything together and add some milk and keep mashing.  Now, you can use whatever milk you want: cream, whole, 2%, whatever.  I don’t use anything less than 2% generally though – that’s just milky water.

Remember how I don’t measure anything?  Yeah, I don’t measure my butter or milk.  Free flow it, yo.  Just let it happen.  Shhhhhhh.  I start off with a few tablespoons of butter and milk and see how I like it.  Maybe my mashed potatoes come out creamy.  Maybe they come out firm.  Who knows?  I just know they’re delicious.

Gravy

4-8 cups of broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 small or medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
thyme, sage, pepper
cornstarch and water

I make gluten safe gravy now.  I used to make amazing non-gluten safe gravy and I’ll post that recipe sometime (maybe in time for the holidays).  Lucky for you gluten-sensitive people, this is the gluten safe one.

Get your broth into a large pot with the onions, garlic, thyme, and sage.  Yeah, you want to infuse that stuff with more flavor.  Put that pot on a med-high flame and bring it up to a simmer.  Go ahead and let it reduce a little to concentrate that broth flavor.  Once the onions and garlic are pretty soft, use your immersion blender to make those flavors a permanent part of that broth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, make sure you chopped that onion and garlic large so you can fish it out into a blender or food processor.  You don’t want to lose that stuff.  Add it all back into the pot and bring it back to a slow boil.

In a small bowl, add a couple spoonfuls of cornstarch and equal parts of water to make a slurry.  Again, I never measure this part and I probably should, but I don’t.  Start with smaller amounts if you want.  You can always add more if you need it.  Make sure your slurry is smooth and whisk it into the broth.  It should start to tighten up and it will keep thickening as you cook it.  Add more slurry if you need it though.  Just remember that it does thicken a little more as you cook it.

Once all is said and done, finish those spuds and top them with that gravy.  Put that gravy on your meat.  Drink it from a shot glass.  What?  Don’t judge me.  It’s good stuff!

 

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