Christmas Dinner: Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

The starch for Christmas dinner was an easy choice. We were doing mashed potatoes, but not JUST mashed potatoes. Anyone can do mashed potatoes. Hell, my sister does mashed potatoes and every time she makes them, I have to hear the line from While You Were Sleeping about how they are so creamy and how Mary mashed them. I hated that movie.

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Anyhow, Jennifer Olvera’s mashed potatoes from Serious Eats are the creamiest and it’s all about the 3+ cups of dairy product in here. I don’t want to discount the caramelized onions here. I thought this side would be about the sweetness of the onions. I was wrong. These mashed potatoes were so creamy.

Jared made them.

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Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Adapted from Jennifer Olvera’s Original at Serious Eats

  • 5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, rinsed and quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 medium or 2 large sweet onions (Vidalia preferred, Mayan sweets will work), sliced thin
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. whole milk
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 6 oz. creme fraiche

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Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with enough water to submerge. Add 1/2 cup of kosher salt and bring water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer 20 to 25 minutes until very tender.

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In a large saute pan over medium-low heat, melt 2 tbsp. of butter. Add the olive oil and use a wooden spoon to mix together. Add the onions, stirring to coat in the grease, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with sugar and raise the heat to medium. Check the onions every 5 to 10 minutes, stirring to prevent burning, and cook until golden, about 30 to 45 minutes.

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Drain the potatoes and return to your pan or a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining butter, milk, sour cream, and creme fraiche. Mash the potatoes by hand, adjusting the flavors with salt and pepper. Transfer the onions to the potatoes and fold them in.

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NOTE: I made these mashed potatoes the day before. According to Jennifer, they can be made up to two days ahead of time. To reheat, add 1/8 cup of whole milk, and microwave on high for 8 minutes, stirring every two minutes to heat evenly.

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