Slow Cooker Smashed Taters

I promised to post this the other day and just barely got a chance to sit down and type it up.

I’d heard about slow cooker mashed potatoes but I’d never tried them. At our Thanksgiving dinners, mashed potatoes are nothing to be experimented with. For nearly thirty years, the mashed potatoes have been done the same way, probably in the same pot. They’re famous, and a family favorite. You just don’t mess with the mashed potatoes!

Sadly, things have changed, as things do. Instead of gathering with extended family at my grandparents’ house, D and I hosted Thanksgiving(!!!!) at our home, with my parents, his parents, and Amy and Nick. As we divided up the cooking duties among couples, I bravely volunteered to attempt mashed potatoes. People weren’t sure. Amy eyed me warily when I volunteered. My mom kindly asked if I would like help. Even I didn’t know if I had gotten in over my head. But, this is the smallest Thanksgiving group we’ve ever had, so if I’m going to ruin Thanksgiving I’d rather ruin it for eight people instead of eighteen. So yeah, I’ll make the potatoes. I can do this!

I decided right away to use the Crock Pot for them because I didn’t think I’d have a bunch of time to hover over the stove, plus using the Crock Pot lets me cook and serve from the same dish. (Hellooooo, convenience!) A lot of recipes I’d seen called for chicken broth. We don’t have any vegetarians in the family (right now), but I didn’t particularly like the idea of non-vegetarian mashed potatoes. I don’t know…that’s weird. So here’s my version of slow cooker mashed potatoes:

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Not the best food pic ever...

5 lbs. potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cut in to 1/2″ pieces
1 c. vegetable broth
2 sticks of butter, each cut in to 8 pieces.

That’s it. I had some sour cream and milk on hand but it turned out that I didn’t need them. Put the potatoes in your Crock Pot (we have a giant one, I hope you do too!), pour the broth over the potatoes, and distribute 1 stick’s worth of butter evenly over the tops of the potatoes. Set the Crock Pot to “high” (4 hours on mine). Put the lid on. Walk away.

I stirred my potatoes about once an hour, just to make sure they all got to spend time in the broth.

After 4 hours, check to make sure that the potatoes crush under firm pressure and drain the liquid. I did a little smashing with a fork and then used a hand mixer for about a minute. The potatoes were so perfectly cooked that they basically melted in to little mashed potatoes the second I turned on the mixer. D asked if it was awesome to pulverize the potatoes with the mixer. It most definitely was. I threw in the second stick of butter as I mixed and they melted away, looking delicious.

I was done at this point. I had perfectly smashed, perfectly potato-y potatoes.

The only problem with them was that about an hour after they cooled (long after Thanksgiving lunch), they got a little dry and lumpy. I don’t mind this, I’m a huge fan of gravy, so for leftovers I just stirred in a little gravy and it was fine. I think stirring in a cup of milk while you’ve got the mixer on would take care of this though (let me know if you try it).

Next time I do this I think I’ll try for loaded mashed potatoes. Instead of just stirring in the butter I’ll add sour cream, cheese, and bacon and then die of deliciousness.

Also, sorry about the poor picture quality, I finally got a phone with a camera but I didn’t get a phone with a good camera. So there’s that.