The frenetic pace and challenge of getting turkey and side dishes to be served together at precisely 6pm on Thanksgiving day is exhausting. So over the years, I've been working in "make-ahead" recipes that makes serving the meal a whole lot easier. Make-ahead gravy. Make-ahead stuffing.
Back in 2018, I added make-ahead, garlic mashed potatoes. And I'm here to tell you they were the best mashed potatoes ever. First off, I avoided all of the chemistry class theatrics required of boiling potatoes from scratch with cold water. And that method requires great precision in order to serve piping hot potatoes with piping hot turkey at the same time.
And this method is foolproof. You cannot screw it up. Anyone who can read can make perfect mashed potatoes. While the recipe calls for peeled potatoes, I really like the skins, so I don't peel mine. As a bonus, the skin is the tastiest and most nutrient-rich part of the potato. This recipe makes 20 servings. My experience is that the majority of folks come back for seconds.
My sons and their cousins always clock in for thirds.
5 pounds of russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, each potato peeled (optional) and quartered
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1-1/2 cups whole milk
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups of half & half
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Chopped chives, for garnish
- Peel (or not) and quarter potatoes and place in slow cooker with garlic and 1-1/2 cups of milk. Set slow cooker to high and cover. Cook for 5 hours.
- After 5 hours, turn slow cooker to warm. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes right in the slow cooker.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan. When melted, add half & half to the pan and heat to warm (do not boil). When warm, add mixture to slow cooker. Using masher, blend potatoes with butter/half & half mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste....a half of a teaspoon at a time for the uninitiated.
- Cover potatoes in slow cooker (still set to warm) and serve whenever you want.