Folks, is there any food on God’s green Earth as comforting as mashed taters? I have been cooking at camp before where we ran out of almost everything we had, trying to make it through the winter, and we ended up eating taters three times a day. I was just trying to get calories into all these cowboys that were coming to me with their hats in their hands looking hungrier than a chicken watching the Thanksgiving dinner scraps get laid out by Mama.
If you have not watched the video, yet, you may want to go ahead and watch at least the first few minutes while we introduce our newest family member – Major. Beag and the Duke are enjoying having a new buddy to play with and they don’t mind him since he leaves them plenty of food.
I am going to show you how to kick up the taters a bit. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that just add that little extra something!
A quick side note: This should satisfy all y’all that asked me where the mashed taters recipe was when we remade the Hungry Man Salisbury Steak dinner a few weeks back. You folks do not let me get away with anything, no sir- I say all the time that we are all just one happy family and you sure act like it when I leave something out. “Where are the taters?!” Well, here you go!
Keep the Skin in the Game
Start with half russet potatoes and half golden Yukon. Russets have a hardiness to them we don’t want to leave out, and they blend well with the golden Yukon’s that add some creaminess.
TIP: Use half russet taters and half Yukon gold taters to get the perfect texture.
Wash them real good – we are going to leave the skins on, so clean them well. Cut the potatoes up into equal sizes so they will cook evenly and be the same texture when you mash them up. We are cooking until they are fork tender. Any more than that and they will just disintegrate into the water.
Drain the taters, and instead of mashing them up with all the steam and all the drippings, just add the potatoes back to the heat so all the excess water cooks off. This is going to make the taters thicker.
TIP: Chop the taters in equal sizes so they cook evenly.
Now, the ingredients we are going to mash these taters with need to be softened or melted at room temperature. We do not want to shock these taters with ice cold milk. Melt the butter and the half and half together in a bowl with the garlic. Keep it warm. Make sure the cream cheese is softened, add it to the bowl, and then start to mash the taters.
TIP: Warm the butter and the half and half before mixing into the taters.
Once the taters are mashed up with the cream cheese, add about half of the butter (I used Kerrygold today) and half and half; get out the hand mixer or the drill and use that to mix and smooth those taters together. If needed, add more butter, and cream and keep mixing until you cannot stop yourself and you start digging in with a spoon. Add a little salt and pepper to taste and you are set.
Once Upon a Snowstorm
Last week’s storm reminds me of once, years ago, I was working a camp in the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon, I was cooking for about three weeks just after Thanksgiving. We had a windstorm like I had never seen come through, and it ripped the canvas over camp right up the middle. It would get below zero and I slept right there next to old Bertha on the ground.
You know I still had to cook three squares a day for these hungry cowboys so I was stitching up the canvas myself and cooking all these meals and wouldn’t you know that I finished just in time for us to get about nine inches of snow. I was lucky I had it all sewn up before the winter storm hit. We were cold but we ate good.
It makes for a good story, and it’s part of why we do what we do. I love this work, and I love feeding people and sharing stories. Do me a favor and when you’ve finished cooking these taters, go ahead and share some with your neighbors and friends. Let them know that Cowboy Kent sent you, and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter. God Bless you and I’ll see you down the mashed tater trail.
Best Mashed Potatoes - Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 2 lbs russet potatoes
- 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 to 1 ½ cups half and half
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- coarse ground black pepper and salt
- chopped green onion for topping
- Cut the potatoes into equal sized pieces and place in a large stockpot. Add just enough water to cover the potatoes about 1 inch. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes or just until they are fork tender. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or they will become mushy.
- Meanwhile, add the half and half, butter and garlic to a small stockpot over medium-low heat. Cook until the butter melts and the mixture has warmed through, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Drain the water from the potatoes and place the stockpot back over a low heat to let all the steam and moisture evaporate.
- Remove from the heat and add the cream cheese in with the potatoes. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
- Pour in half of the half and half mixture into the potatoes and mash or blend with a mixer. Mix in the remaining wet mixture until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with green onions.