Mashed potatoes should be more than an excuse to eat gravy. With the right ingredients, mashed potatoes can become a standout star on the Thanksgiving table that your family will request ahead for next year. Thanks to buttermilk and crème fraîche, these incredibly rich, slightly tangy potatoes can stand on their own just fine, but we also love to top them with crispy bacon and scallions for even more flavor. The mashed potatoes can be made one day ahead; store covered in the refrigerator and reheat before serving. These potatoes are special occasion worthy, but you can also serve them during the week with pork tenderloin, fried chicken, or country-fried steak.
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
1 cup salted butter, softened
8 ounces crème fraîche
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 bacon slices
1 cup diagonally sliced scallions
How to Make It
Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to Dutch oven over medium. Cook, stirring once, until potatoes dry out slightly, 30 to 50 seconds.
Place buttermilk and butter in a microwavable glass bowl, and microwave on HIGH until warm, 30 to 60 seconds. Add warm buttermilk mixture, crème fraîche, salt, and white pepper to potatoes, and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Keep potatoes warm.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Cook 1 cup diagonally sliced scallions in hot drippings in skillet until lightly browned and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer scallions to paper towels with a slotted spoon to drain. Sprinkle scallions and crumbled bacon over warm mashed potatoes.
Spoon potatoes into a 4- to 6-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until heated through, about 2 hours. Or reheat in a tightly covered baking dish at 350°F until heated through, about 1 hour.