This French Style Mashed Potato is the mashed potato you get served in posh restaurants and high end steakhouses. It is ridiculously buttery and is so smooth, with a soft and pillowy texture.
I am not going to try and pretend this is a healthy side dish, this mashed potato is loaded up with butter and is super rich and delicious.
It is definitely a side dish for special occasions, or those decadent date nights.
French Style Mashed Potatoes also known as Paris Mash or Pomme Puree. Why so many names?
Here in Australia this is known as Paris Mash and is the signature dish of Guillaume Brahimi. When he first moved to Australia his Mother would send him copies of a magazine called 'Paris Match' so when he made french style mashed potatoes for his new restaurant menu, the name seemed apt.
Traditionally in France super smooth and buttery mashed potato is called pomme puree.
And I like to call it french style mashed potato, just so everyone is clear that this isn't your every day dish. This is mashed potato that took a holiday in butter land!
How much butter do you add to French Style Mashed Potatoes
If you are worrying about the calories at the moment then please don't read much further, you will either hate me because you'll want to eat this and can't or you'll be so shocked that you'll need a glass of wine and a plate of cheese and crackers just to calm down.
So how much butter is in Paris mash?
For every pound of potatoes there are 1 ½ sticks of butter.
Yes that is right!!! One and a Half Sticks. I told you these weren't for those worrying about the calories.
BUT!!!! I promise you don't need a large amount of this mash, it is really rich, so a little goes a long way. And I don't know about you but I would rather have a few tablespoons of THE BEST MASHED POTATO IN THE WORLD than a whole bowl of gluey stodgy average mashed potatoes.
I make my pomme puree, slightly differently. It is a method I learnt from a French neighbour when I owned a house near Dijon.
How to make french style mashed potatoes
Start with the right potato - you want a fluffy potato like a Desiree, Dutch Cream, Yukon Gold, or Maris Piper.
Cook the potatoes low and slow in milk and a little bit of butter - this stops the potatoes taking on too much water and gives you a wonderful potato flavored milk to mix your mash with. (EXTRA FLAVOR)
Season the milk generously with salt and white pepper - whilst the potatoes are cooking if you salt the milk the salt will move into the potatoes giving you perfectly seasoned mashed potato.
Use a potato ricer to turn the cooked potatoes into mash - a potato ricer creates a really smooth mashed potato. You can buy them cheaply on Amazon or in Ikea.
Don't a food processor or handheld mixer - This will change the texture of the starch in the potatoes and you end up with something gluey.
Use cold butter at the end - this distributes the flavor of the butter through the mashed potatoes and stops them tasting oily.
Mix vigorously with a spoon - this lightens the mixture and really distributes the butter, through the dish.
Add a little of the cooking milk - this thins the mash and gives you the true french texture. If you like a stiffer mash then use less milk.
Enjoy immediately - whilst there are ways to reheat this paris mash/pomme puree, these are honestly best when eaten straight away.
Can I use low fat spread instead of butter in the french style mashed potatoes?
No, sorry but that is just not going to work here. The point of this mash is it is soft and buttery and so rich that you only need a small amount. Using a low fat spread or margarine just ruins the flavor and texture.
This is a recipe that needs the real butter.
And whilst we are talking about butter, use good butter. The flavor of the butter is going to be obvious in the final dish. Use a butter that tastes good and hasn't been left opened in the fridge for weeks. (Tell me I am not the only one who will find a little dish of butter pushed behind the pots of jam!)
What to serve with your Paris mash:
- Seared Steak
- Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
- Seared Lemon Butter Scallops
- Beef Bourguignon
- Creamy Champagne Chicken
Extra sides that work well with mashed potato:
Or just eat your french style mashed potato in a bowl with a spoon!
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French Style Mashed Potato (Paris Mash or Pomme Puree)
- 2 lb potatoes see note 1
- 1 ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 3 sticks butter
- Peel the potatoes and then cut into 1 inch chunks.
- Wash the potatoes under cold water to remove any surface starch.
- Place the potatoes, milk, salt and white pepper into a sauce pan and place over a medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer, then put a lid on, reduce the heat and cook for 35-40 minutes until the potatoes are soft. (Check your potatoes after 20 minutes as the age of the potato can affect how quickly it cooks.)
- Whilst the potatoes are cooking, cut the butter into small chunks and place in the fridge to stay cold.
- Drain the potatoes reserving the milk.
- Use a potato ricer or a food mill to mash the potatoes.
- Add the hot potatoes to the cold butter and stir vigorously until all the butter has melted into the potato.
- Add about a ¼ cup of the milk mixture and stir to get a very soft almost pourable mashed potato. (see note 2)
- Check the seasoning then serve immediately with a little extra butter and some parsley garnish.
- You want a fluffy potato like a Desiree, Dutch Cream, Yukon Gold, or Maris Piper.
- Add more or less milk to change the consistency. The French would add more as they serve this so it almost pours onto the plate. I like to use around ¼ cup as that gives a very soft constancy but still with some structure.
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