5 Great Mashed Potatoes

If you follow us at all you know that we have been on a serious comfort food kick lately. The funny thing is, we’re in Arizona and so far our autumn has consisted of 90 degree days and 65 degree nights – not exactly sweater weather.  But, we’re committed to fall no matter what the thermometer says and we have been loving it.

 

A plate of bangers and mashed potatoes from Ina Garten

Bangers and mash really hit the spot.

I am Italian so I didn’t exactly grow up on bangers mash.  In fact I don’t think I even knew what it was until 5 or 6 years ago.  My husband, who lived in England for awhile knew about them – how could he keep them from me?  After I read a recipe for them they became a fall/winter staple around here.  And as usual, Ina Garten has a solid take on this hearty dish.

 

Mashed potatoes including caramelized onions and bacon.

Mashed potatoes with bacon and caramelized onions. Yum!

I know we are in the midst of a bacon craze (and why not?) so what I should say is something like, “you had me at bacon.”  But in all seriousness, you had me at caramelized onions!  The salt from the bacon is nice, but the savory sweetness of the caramelized onion has a special place in my heart and is what makes this mash work.

 

The thyme makes this plate of mashed potatoes stand out

A rustic mash of potatoes and thyme.

This mash almost reminds me of a potato salad.  If you have fresh thyme in the garden use it but thyme from the store won’t disappoint.  It gives this hearty dish a pleasant perkiness.

 

red potato, sweet potato, parsnips and celery root combine for a lovely mash

A mash of root vegetables.

I think when some people hear “root vegetables” it may conjure up less than pleasant memories.  But the parsnips bring a nice sweetness to this mash and they enhance the flavors of the red and sweet potatoes, while the garlic and the butter, well, it’s garlic and butter – they make everything better.

 

A plate of beef tenderloin and mashed potatoes with corn and cheese.

Cheesy corn mashed potatoes

Ok, beef tenderloin is great with pretty much everything, but I am trying to focus on the mashed potatoes.  It’s not easy – but all of the cheesy, corn goodness really helps.  These are really good with any type of steak or beef – including a nice hamburger.