For the holidays, space in the oven, on the stovetop, and other locations is often at a premium. When I’ve been hosting, the past few years have resulted in cooking potatoes in the crockpot. I haven’t done a very good job of tracking the recipe that I’m using, though. This year I decided to follow the recipe from The Kitchn. It turned out pretty well, although the potatoes were more liquidy than I would prefer. Next time, I’ll add the liquid ingredients at the end in smaller batches, until they are the consistency for which I am looking.
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
5 lb russet potatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, optional
1 tsp coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
3 to 3 1/2 c milk or a mixture of milk and cream
1/2 c unsalted butter
Peel and chop the potatoes. Lightly grease the slow cooker with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces, about 1 inch to a side. The smaller the potatoes, the faster they will cook. Add the seasonings. Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper. Pour in 1 1/2 c milk and stir the potatoes. Cover the slow cooker and cook 4-5 hours on high or until the potatoes are very tender and soft. Turn the heat to warm.
When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir in 2 c milk and warm gently over low heat.
If you used the garlic, but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot. When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter. The potatoes will look soupy at first, but will soak up the liquid. Add an additional 1/2 c of milk if you want them to be even creamier.
Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.