Drying the cooked potatoes ensures fluffy mashed potatoes that are creamy, not watery.
Bacon-Thyme Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 8-10 servings
- 5 pounds red potatoes, cubed
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1½ cups whole buttermilk, warmed
- Garnish: butter, chopped fresh thyme
- In a large Dutch oven, bring potatoes, 2 tablespoons salt, and water to cover to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Reduce heat to low; cook potatoes, stirring frequently, until dry, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove bacon using a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels, reserving ¼ cup drippings.
- Using a potato masher, mash potatoes, butter, reserved ¼ cup bacon drippings, thyme, pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon salt until desired consistency. Stir in buttermilk and three-fourths of bacon until combined. Top with remaining bacon. Garnish with butter and thyme, if desired.