4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2" pieces
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk (Diary-free: Use non-dairy milk of choice)
1/4 cup chives, chopped (Optional)
6 thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter (Dairy-free: Use non-dairy butter - we love Melt!)
Place potatoes in a large pot and pour in cold water to cover by 1". Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender but not saturated or crumbly, 20–25 minutes (boiling will lead to waterlogged pieces).
Drain potatoes (reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid if making potatoes ahead of time). Return potatoes to pot and set over low heat. Gently stir until dry, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 6 thyme sprigs, 3 bay leaves, and 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
Pass hot potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl (if allowed to cool, the potatoes will become gummy).
Remove herbs from warm milk mixture; discard. Gradually add milk mixture to potatoes, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Top with chives and serve mashed potatoes with a few pats of butter on top.
Yukon Golds potatoes have a rich, buttery flavor. That’s why we prefer them over russet potatoes. For smooth potatoes with just a hint of texture, we're LOVE a ricer. Most come with different-size disks: The smaller the holes, the more refined the results.
You can also swap out a third of the milk for one of the following for a more interesting mash: buttermilk for tang; sour cream for a baked potato–like vibe; heavy cream for the ultimate in luxe side dishes.
We suggest bay leaf and thyme for their autumn flavors, but feel free to rosemary and sage, or a smashed garlic clove for a bit of bite.
If you make your mash the morning, be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the potato cooking water before draining. Rice potatoes and return to the pot; stir in dairy, season, and cover. Just before serving, place the pot over low heat and add 1/4 cup of the cooking water, stirring, until the mixture is hot. Add the remaining 1/4 cup cooking water if needed. Serve topped with chives or thyme and butter for visual treat.