Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pomme Purée (Mashed Potatoes)
For those of you who love mashed potatoes, pomme purée is like their snooty French cousin. They’re creamy, smooth, flavourful and much like the French, contain a surprising amount of butter. Despite it’s refined persona, pomme purée is easy enough to make. By following a few simple steps, you can prepare perfect potatoes every time. In this recipe, I’ve added roasted garlic for a warming sweetness, and rosemary for a little bit more flavour.
To keep the potatoes as flavourful as possible I opt for roasting them rather than the popular method of boiling. By baking them, they dry out nicely as opposed to soaking up additional water inside of a pot.
The added benefit of roasting the potatoes whole is that once you scoop them out you have a delicious potato skin snack or garnish. Just drizzle the emptied skins with olive oil and salt and pop back into the oven for 12 minutes or until they’re crispy.
To turn our cooked potato into a finer consistency I would recommend passing it through a sieve or tamis. This method requires the most elbow grease but I find it’s worth it as you’ll end up with the finest texture. Alternatively if you’re working in large batches you can easily use either a potato ricer or a food mill.
Pomme puree is known for being an incredibly decadent endeavor. The amount of butter you can add is up to you but I would aim for about 20% of the original weight of the potatoes you’ve used. Yupp, if you’ve opted for a recipe using 1kg of potatoes that’s 200g of butter. We’re going to then adjust the consistency with warm milk or cream until the texture is just right.
Additional flavourings are entirely optional and as long as you’ve seasoned your puree with plenty of salt you will have something truly delicious. If you’re going to add flavours keep it simple and complementary. Replacing roast garlic and rosemary with minced chives and a knob of sour cream or creme fraiche would be an equally delicious, lighter flavoured choice.
Whatever flavours you add, the most important thing is to add enough salt. Potatoes are very starchy. Starches don’t carry much flavour by themselves and will subdue saltiness. It is therefore important to add plenty of salt. When you come to season your potatoes, taste after each addition of salt and don’t stop adding salt until you stop and say wow, these are some damn good potatoes. It’s important to season a little bit at a time and taste regularly to ensure that your potatoes are neither too salty nor under seasoned.
Serves 4-5 people
Active time 25 minutes
Total time 1.5 hours
1kg starchy potatoes
200g whole butter
Plenty of salt to taste
Milk or cream as needed.
2 sprigs of rosemary
1. Preheat an oven to 200C. Scrub but don’t peel the potatoes and place onto a lined baking tray.
2. Remove the rosemary from it’s stem and finely chop.
3. Bake for 1 hour or until they are completely cooked through. You can check this by piercing them with a fork or knife. When the fork pierces the flesh of the potato with no resistance, then they’re cooked.
4. Cut the potatoes in half through the centre and, using a tea towel to protect your hands from the heat, begin to scoop out the flesh from the potato skins. (Save the skins for a snack or crispy garnish).
5. Pass the potato flesh through a sieve using a rubber spatula or a pastry card. Add the passed potato into a pot. Season liberally with salt.
6. Add 1 heads’ worth of roasted garlic to the potatoes and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula along with a few cubes of butter at a time. Add the chopped rosemary along with freshly ground black pepper to taste and fold in with a spatula until evenly distributed.
7. Work in roughly 2 tablespoons of butter at a time until they melt into the potatoes and the mixture is smooth before adding more butter.
8. Continue adding until you’ve reached your desired consistency and taste. If the potato mixture cools down too much and the butter isn’t melting fast enough, apply gentle heat to the bottom of the pot.
9 Gently heat up 100ml or so of cream or milk. Fold the cream into the potato mixture a little bit at a time and adjust with more salt.
10. Either serve immediately or
11. If serving later on that day, wrap the surface of the potatoes with cling film to prevent them from drying out. Bring the potato mixture back together by adding a splash more warm cream or milk and stirring until smooth over medium heat.
12. To serve the next day, place the potatoes into a fridge suitable container and press plenty of cling film over the surface of the potato to prevent dried out crustiness. Rewarm with some warm milk or cream when ready to serve.
13. Add more rosemary, salt and pepper as needed. Optionally garnish with freshly picked herbs and crispy potato skins
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