In the spirit of giving, I thought it would be appropriate to give my friends and fans the one recipe I've held closest to my heart for so long. Never once did I reveal all of the ingredients to anyone, and especially not the method of the making. So here it is, after all these years, for you to enjoy. Merry Christmas. (Originally published December 25, 2008)
Justin's Famous Mashed Potatoes
5 pounds of russet baking potatoes
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded "melty" cheese ("mexican" mix, provolone, or jack cheese—not pepper jack!)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of Sour Cream
1 cup of Cream Cheese (1 package; room temperature)
1/2 cup (1 stick) of Salted Butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of COLD Salted Butter
8 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1/8 cup finely chopped white onions
1 bunch of green onion, thinly chopped (separate in one 3/4 and one 1/4 portion)
2 tsp table salt
1 tsp paprika
WHAT YOU NEED
Hand or Stand Mixer
Ceramic Casserole Dish or other oven-safe container
Large stock pot (for potatoes)
Small Saucepan or skillet (for butter/onions/garlic)
Estimated Prep time: 60 minutes
Servings: About 5-20 servings depending on how greedy you are
Peel and dice the potatoes into evenly-sized cubes about 1-inch thick, and place into a large pot. Fill the pot with salted water so that the water is about 2 inches above the potatoes. Boil the potatoes until the are almost done—you still want a small amount of firmness in the potatoes because they will continue to cook and soften.
While the potatoes are boiling, take the minced garlic, chopped onion, and one stick (1/2 cup) of butter and saute on low heat in a small saucepan. This will release all that delicious subtle flavor into the butter.
Drain and place the boiled potatoes into the bowl and mix on medium, adding the heavy cream until the potatoes start to smooth out. Add the sour cream until well incorporated.
Strain the butter/onion/garlic through a fine mesh strainer into the mixer. (Probably best to stop mixing...)
Salt to taste while mixing on low. Once you've reached the desired saltiness, add in the 3/4 bunch of chopped green onions. Mix on low until well incorporated. Now it's time for the Big Cheese. Slowly add the cheese, making sure it's well mixed.
Transfer the finished potatoes to your casserole dish. Leave at least half of an inch of room between the top of the potatoes and the rim of the dish. You don't want it bubbling over. (When you cook these in the oven, they will expand.) Thinly slice the cold butter into small squares, and evenly space them on top of the potatoes. Dust the top with the lightest dash of salt and a light amount of paprika (for color). Sprinkle on the remaining chopped green onions and you're done! (Until you're ready to put them in the oven.)
When you are ready for the final preparation, place the potatoes in a 350º preheated oven and heat uncovered until the butter has melted and created a lightly brown crust, about 40 minutes. Sometimes I even throw this into the broiler for 5-10 minutes to get the top just a little extra crispy. Once your potatoes reach the desired color, remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes—unless of course you want to burn your mouth.
This recipe should be made at least one day ahead of serving, but can be made as many as 5 days ahead of time if you're cooking around the holidays. It's better when all of the flavors come together in the refrigerator. It is certainly possible to prepare and serve on the same day—and it will taste and feel just fine—but why not make what you can ahead of time, especially since this recipe can create quite a mess in the kitchen.
Serve and enjoy! (If you have any extra chopped green onions, they make a nice garnish at the dinner table.)
STRETCH THE RECIPE
The real secret of this recipe comes the following morning if there are any left over. In a large skillet heat Crisco vegetable shortening (any vegetable oil will work too) on med-high heat. Wait, that's a big lie. I usually fry them in bacon grease. Take your cold potatoes and make 2-3 inch balls in my hands. Take the balls and pat them with a healthy coating of flour. Then flatten them in your hand to make semi-round disks that are about 1/2 inch in thickness. Carefully place the pancakes into the oil and cook until medium brown. Remove from the pan with a wide spatula with small drainage holes, and dab lightly with a paper towel to remove excess fat. Plate, and serve with bacon and eggs. Mmmmmm mmm tasty!
Whichever fat you choose, there's nothing healthy about this positively gluttonous breakfast treat.
Once you make these, you'll know why they're called "Justin's Famous Mashed Potatoes," and you'll never want to make mashed potatoes any other way. And these potatoes—cold or warm—make the absolute best hangover cure.
This recipe has evolved from the recipes of two amazing women: my mom Vickie, and her friend Bonnie Dickman. Thanks for everything you've done ladies.
This recipe was originally published on December 25, 2008 as a Christmas present to my friends and other fans of these mashed potatoes. As far as I am aware, there have been no deaths as a result of eating these mashed potatoes.
Updated November 26, 2016 and November 21, 2011 to include additional "secret" modifications and techniques.