I mean, COME ON...potatoes are just starchy conveyors of whatever the hell you mix them with and they're super boring unless those mix-ins are slutty. Butter, cream cheese, you know the drill. Oh, and sometimes people think they're gourmands by adding in - wait for it - ....roasted garlic! Holy shit! I know! It's on the menu at every Crapplebee's, Flingers, Olive Yarfen and Tchotchke's. (Which means we're all done with this iteration, right?)
So, of course we need something else to do with our spuds besides making moonshine out back. And we need to do something else to infuse said spuds with flavor, not just dumping stuff into the pot at the end.
Enter: The Pressure Cooker (link is to exact same one I have)
I used to be so afraid of these suckers, the first time I used it, I wore goggles and a heavy coat, holding the box it came in right in front of my face in case it exploded. After a few uses, I mellowed, but still wear my sexy librarian glasses just in case.
Anyway, pressure cookers are not only great for getting shit cooked in a timely manner, they're also fantastic at tenderizing and infusing. (One of these days I'll give you the deets on my slutty pressure cooker Asian ribs.) So naturally, I use a pressure cooker to get my taters super soft without being mushy, infusing them with whatever liquid you toss in there with them. (If you don't have a pressure cooker, you need one. And if you're just being stubborn about it, I'll tell you how to do this without one below the recipe down at the bottom.)
In this case, I used beef broth as I wanted to make a play on the classic French Onion Soup. Don't get me wrong, I love a classic F.O.S., but can sometimes find it lacking the texture/substance I crave in a highly flavored potage.
For the French Onion Soup Mashed Potatoes, I infused the potatoes in the pressure cooker with not only beef broth, but some of the onions I'd eventually add to them once buttered and smashed. It resulted in a deeper, sluttier flavor, which played nicely off the nutty Gruyere and sweet, saucy onions.
Do it this way:
Slutty French Onion Soup Mashed Potatoes
Yellow/Yukon Gold Potatoes - about three or four per person
Beef Broth - about 1 cup
Red Onions - half an onion per person, sliced (not minced or diced) and quartered
Milk - about 1/3 cup per person, heated up in the microwave to simmering
Butter - about 3 tablespoons per person - drop it into the hot milk to speed melting
Gruyere - about 1/4 cup per person, grated
Salt and Pepper - to taste, and I cannot stress enough that you will need at least DOUBLE what you normally use because potatoes are salt whores and will absorb it with glee and never give back that amount in taste, so salt the shit out of them.
Toss the potatoes, broth and HALF of your onions in the pressure cooker. Lock it down, turn it to high and once the thingy on top is doing the hula, cook for 15 (for four or less people) to 20 minutes (for five to eight people).
Toss the rest of the onions into a saucepan with a little butter and cook on medium for about the time it takes the potatoes to cook. Stir on the regular.
While all the cooking is happening, heat up your milk and butter, grate your cheese and have a cocktail.
When the potatoes (and the onions they cooked with) are done, strain the cooking broth into a small bowl as you might need some of this starchy liquid in a minute. Pour in half of the milk/butter mixture, plus a couple tablespoons of the starchy liquid. Mash it up. You'll notice it's not super soft/smooth yet. Add the milk/butter until you get to the desired texture. Add the cooked onions and guryere. Mix until *just* combined (you don't want to overmix as it'll be gluey as a bunch of dead horses). If it's still too chunky/dry, add more of the starchy liquid. Now, season with salt and pepper like crazy. Keep it warm until you serve it. Roll in it. Lick it off someone's stomach. Use it as a condiment. You'll figure it out.
***And if you don't have a pressure cooker? Sigh. Pour beef broth over the potatoes in a large pot, covering by 1 inch of liquid. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Vow to get a pressure cooker.