Leading up to Thanksgiving, the “Super Bowl of All Meals,” and my personal favorite holiday, I am going to feature some recipes, methods of cooking, and definitely some wine pairing guidelines. See the whole Thanksgiving Series.
Mashed potatoes and gravy are a classic inclusion on the Thanksgiving table. Potatoes are what brought the Irish part of my family here to the United States. On Thanksgiving, potatoes are the backup singer to the star Turkey. It is full of soul satisfying starch which keto-people crave (ask me how I know), enough butter and cream to make the cows proud, and savory garlic to give it just a nudge over the finish line of greatness. It might not be the star, but life sure is sad without it.
When pairing with red wines, I would choose a medium bodied red that won’t overpower the potato. Côtes du Rhône, Barbera, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir are all turkey-friendly red wine choices. On the opposite end of the spectrum are full bodied whites. Choose a lightly baked Chardonnay that won’t overwhelm the creamy potatoes. A creamy and nutty white Rioja, a citrusy and mineral Sauvignon Blanc, or a heavy and acidic Verdicchio are all good choices too. Heck, you can even pair a buttery Sparkling wine with mashed potatoes.
Just in case you don’t have a hand-me-down family recipe, this is what I do every November, and whenever we fall off the no-carb wagon.
Over the Top Mashed Potatoes
- 5 pounds potatoes red skin and yukon gold mix, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
- 1/2+ cup butter cubed
- 8 ounces cream cheese cubed
- 1/2+ cup half-and-half
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Scrub and cut potatoes into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Leave on the skins to make more rustic. Peel if you feel so inclined. Throw in garlic cloves. Place in large pot and cover with cold water. Place on high heat and bring to boil. Start checking for doneness at around 15 minutes. When they’re done, a fork or knife will easily slide into the potatoes and they should almost fall apart. Depending on size of cubes, they will be done anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Drain in colander and return to hot pot.
- Place pot back on stove, over low heat, and start mashing. Add in cubes of butter and cream cheese as you smash. Turn off heat once butter and cream cheese are mostly blended in. Stir in half-and-half and seasonings. Add more butter or half-and-half to your preference.