I grew up on instant mashed potatoes. I didn’t know any different.
My first Thanksgiving as Mr. Awesome’s girlfriend was full of surprises as I stood around the kitchen of his childhood home, watching his mother cook. I offered to help here and there, and bless his mother’s heart, she let me. I imagine training me was much like having a toddler “helping” in the kitchen, and created much more work for her. She pressed on anyway.
When we were rushing to get everything ready she realized she hadn’t started the potatoes and company was coming quick! I offered to go pick up a box or two of instant mashed potatoes from the grocery store, so it would be quicker.
She was old-school.
Have you ever been in a kitchen that belongs to an old-school woman, who has been cookin’ since before you were born?
Apparently, you don’t suggest shortcuts.
I remember the look she darted at me and how I must have offended her with my innocent question and offer for help. I wanted to leave right then and there and never come back.
I learned quickly that instant potatoes were not a thing in that house.
They still were in mine for quite a few years, until I got the hang of making real mashed potatoes.
Here’s the thing though, to this day I still hate it. I don’t mind peeling and cutting 10 lbs of potatoes; but watching a pot on the stove? I really don’t have time for that.
Inevitably the pot boils over and I’m left scraping a starchy mess off of the cook-top later.
Last week I experimented with making mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot, and they were such a success I’m never turning back!
Here’s the lowdown:
- Put a cup or so of water in the IP, and add the metal trivet.
- Fill the pot with peeled and quartered potatoes (I did about 5 lbs).
- Set the pot to 8 minutes on High Pressure.
- Release the pressure, remove the trivet (I used tongs).
- Add a splash of whatever kind of milk you use (I used almond milk), and a little butter.
- Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
The results were perfect! They weren’t grainy or too heavy. Also, they didn’t scorch in the IP like I thought they would. Even when left for an hour on the keep warm setting, they didn’t stick!
Truth be told, the first time I made these I had an incident with boiling water and a busted mason jar. That resulted in the potatoes being left in the IP for over 30 minutes without a pressure release. The pressure released on its own, and the potatoes still turned out perfectly. You can’t mess these up, folks!
Go ahead, give them a try!