This recipe is a great example of the power butter has when you cook its solids until they turn a caramel, nutty golden brown. Brown butter added to any plain starch is transformative.


  • 1 pound russet/baking or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter


Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the potatoes are tender throughout, about 20 minutes. Don't boil the potatoes; this can disintegrate the exterior. Drain the potatoes and set aside to let the moisture steam off.
In the same saucepan, combine the milk and 2 teaspoons salt and set over medium heat.
When the milk is hot, return the potatoes to the pan. You can mash them in the pan with a masher (I like them chunky so I prefer this method), or mash them directly into the pan with a ricer or food mill. Stir the potatoes just to combine with the milk; don't overmix. Taste and season with salt ifneeded.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the foaming sub- sides, stir the butter and note the color of the solids. When the solids are golden brown, add half of the butter to the mashed potatoes. Taste for seasoning. If you prefer the potatoes thinner, add a little more milk.
Serve the potatoes topped with a spoonful of the remaining brown butter.

Serves 4

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Submitted 11/3/11.
Source: Ruhlman's Twenty
Submitted By: b smith

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes