Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

  • serves 4
Michael Smith
Michael Smith Chef at Home

A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason, this is also an account of what happens when I make this dish, so you’ll understand each step. Of course when you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

Everybody knows how good mashed potatoes are but if you really want to impress your friends and family try them with brown butter. You won’t believe how much flavour is locked into a stick of butter but you will believe these are the best-mashed spuds you’ve ever had!

17 Ratings
Directions for: Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes


2 lb(s) or so of unpeeled potatoes (about four large)

1 stick of salted butter (four ounces)

A few pinches of nutmeg

A sprinkle or two of salt and pepper


1. Cut the potatoes into large chunks then steam, boil or microwave them until they’re tender. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, toss the butter into a small saucepot and heat it until it melts over medium heat. Because butter contains as much as twenty percent water it will then begin to steam and foam. Once the water has evaporated the foam will subside and the butter’s temperature will begin to rise. The milk fat solids that are one or two percent of the butter will then begin to brown. Continue watching as it begins foaming a second time. Swirl it gently, watching the colour, until it turns golden brown and releases the aroma of toasting nuts. Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl to stop it from browning further.

3. When the potatoes are tender mash in the butter, nutmeg and seasonings. Taste and season a bit more if needed. Then watch the bowl empty!

See more: Dinner, Side, Quick and Easy, North American, Potatoes

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