Mashed Potatoes

by Table 301 - Soby's New South Cuisine, Tastemaker in Residience

Mashed potatoes are one of America’s most popular comfort foods and have been on Soby’s menu since the beginning. At Soby’s we serve our mashed potatoes smooth, not lumpy. This does not mean we use “instant” mashed potatoes, it just means we make our mashed potatoes using a large food mill. At home, you can use a smaller mill or a ricer to get the same smooth texture.

To make great mashed potatoes, you must follow a few simple but very important rules:

  • Use a high starch potato such as an Idaho Russet or Yukon Gold.

  • Cut the potato into even-sized pieces
    (so they cook in the same amount of time).

  • Do not overcook the potatoes. When the potatoes hold their shape, but a fork can be easily inserted and removed, they are done.

  • When the potatoes are cooked, drain them until they are dry. You may even dump them onto a baking sheet and warm in the oven to dry them although rarely is this step necessary

  • Work quickly while the potatoes are very hot.

  • Do not let them cool.

  • Process the potatoes through a food mill or ricer to make sure there are no lumps. Food mills and ricers are available at kitchen stores and some supermarkets.

  • Always add hot liquid for flavoring.

  • Do not over mix. Mix just enough to incorporate the flavor component and evenly distribute the seasoning.

  • Add salt and pepper last, tasting as you add to avoid over salting. Potatoes need quite a bit of salt to bring out their maximum flavor. 


3 lbs Potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized cubes
1 1⁄2 cups Milk
1/4 lb Butter
1 Tbsp Salt (approx)
1⁄2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper (approx)


  1. Cook the potatoes until they are tender.
  2. Heat the butter and milk together until they are
  3. just about to boil.
  4. Drain the potatoes well.
  5. Pass the potatoes through food mill or ricer. 5. Stir in flavor or garnish components.
  6. Add remaining ingredients gradually, to taste

Cook's Note

Instant mashed potatoes actually do have a good culinary use. One example is using them to crust fish. Just press your favorite fish filet into a layer of potato flakes and then place the filet into a hot skillet with a little olive oil. When the potato flakes turn golden, flip the fish over and cook through.