Duchess Potatoes is a terrific recipe to serve for entertaining because it can be prepared ahead of time and baked at the last minute. We recently enjoyed Duchess Potatoes with a Rib Eye Roast. (Well, most of us did; Bob said he preferred “plain old mash potatoes”!)
One advantage of Duchess Potatoes over mashed potatoes when serving them with a roast is the fact that they can stand on their own. You don’t have to worry about making “jus” or gravy at the last minute.
I had never made Duchess Potatoes before because I thought I had to have a pastry bag to pipe them into beautiful rosettes. Then I read what Elise from Simply Recipes had to say about them. She suggested you could put them in a freezer bag and cut off a corner to pipe them. Or, she said you could even just spread the potatoes out in a baking pan and create peaks with the tines of a fork.
I do have freezer bags, but I’m always one to keep it simple and even that sounded a little fussy. I thought, why can’t I make little mounds of potatoes and use the tines of a fork to pretty them up? That’s what I did!
My Duchess Potatoes aren’t as pretty as they would have been if I had used a pastry bag, but they were very presentable and tasted terrific! (Click on the link for Simply Recipes above to see how beautiful they can be with the proper equipment!)
(Adapted from Elise’s recipe at Simply Recipes)
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
¼ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (I just grated a bit of fresh nutmeg in with my Microplane zester.)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 egg yolks
Yukon gold potatoes
1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Stir in about 2 teaspoons of salt.
2. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce hit to a simmer and cook until tender, 20 minutes or so. (Exact time will depend on the size of your potato chunks.)
3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and set aside. (It’s to brush on the potatoes before baking.)
4. When the potatoes are done, drain them and then put them back in the pot over the heat for just a minute or two to evaporate any extra moisture.
5. Remove from heat. If you have a potato ricer, use it to rice the potatoes. It’s the easiest way to get smooth mashed potatoes. If you don’t have a ricer, mash them using whatever method you prefer, adding the cream, 2 tablespoons butter, nutmeg, pepper and egg yolks as you mash. Just don’t over-mash them or they’ll become gummy.
Ricing the potatoes
6. If you have riced the potatoes, stir in the cream, the other 2 tablespoons of butter, nutmeg, pepper and egg yolks.
7. If you have one, use a pastry bag with a large star point to pipe the potatoes on a baking sheet. Otherwise, make rounded potato mounds on the baking sheet.
As you can see, I lined the baking sheet with parchment paper, but it’s probably not necessary.
8. Using a fork, make ridges on the potato mounds.
9. Brush the potatoes with the reserved melted butter.
At this point, you can refrigerate the baking sheet and bake the potatoes later if you want.
10. Bake the potatoes in a preheated 425˚ oven for about 20 minutes. (If serving with a roast, pop them in the oven while the roast is resting.)