Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd

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I host Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas and it's pretty much a given that we have mashed potatoes on all three of those holidays. I've tried different takes on potatoes, roasting them and twice baking them, but we always seem to come back to the good-old standard of mashed potatoes.

Making homemade mashed potatoes for a lot of people can be time consuming. You need to rinse and peel the potatoes, slice them and then boil them in salted water. Then they need to be drained and mashed together with copious amounts of butter and milk before you can serve them. Then there's that pesky little issue of keeping them warm while you're preparing everything else.



It's taken me five years, but I have finally, finally mastered the perfect mashed potatoes for a crowd that requires the least amount of work on your part. It does require a slow cooker and a stand mixer (or hand mixer) but I promise it's worth the extra gadgets.



Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 15+
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Ingredients:
    • 8 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 cup milk, divided
    • 6 tablespoons butter, divided  
    • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper, divided
Directions:
1. Rinse potatoes and slice into 1-inch pieces. Put potato pieces into a large stock pot and add water until the potatoes are fully covered.
2. Add salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 25-35 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the boiling liquid.
3. Meanwhile, add 1/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons of butter (sliced into thin pats), 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper to the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment affixed. Line a 6 quart or larger slow cooker with a liner or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Transfer half of the potatoes into the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed until no lumps remain. Then transfer to your prepared slow cooker. Slice 1 tablespoon of butter into 3 pats and place on top of the potatoes.
5. Put the second half of the potatoes into the stand mixer with the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter sliced into thin pats along with the remaining salt and pepper and mix on low speed until no lumps remain. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker.
6. Slice the last tablespoon of butter into 3 thin pats and place on top of the potatoes. Turn the slow cooker onto the Keep Warm setting. Stir before serving.

*Notes:
1. Yukon Gold potatoes have a thin, buttery skin. You can save time by not peeling them. But, if you're family only prefers peeled mashed potatoes, go right ahead. You don't need to make any other changes to the recipe.
2. Potatoes will not discolor if covered entirely with water. You can peel and salt them the night before and boil in the morning.
3. Any type of milk can be used (skim, 1%, 2%, whole) as well as cream or half-and-half.
3. To save even more time, potatoes can be boiled and mashed the night before. Let cool for an hour before refrigerating. To reheat, place in the slow cooker  on low for 2-4 hours or until warmed through.
4. Mashed potatoes will thicken and dry slightly overnight while refrigerated so they may look thick the next day. Remember that the condensation from the slow cooker will help to thin them out. If that is not enough, 30-60 minutes before serving, add your choice of liquid (milk, cream, chicken stock) by the tablespoon until you reach your desired consistency. You shouldn't need more than 1/4 cup total.




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