Why not try real three-star cooking at home? This is my translation (and slight adaptation) of Joël Robuchon’s recipe for his famous mashed potatoes, as served at his almost religiously revered (and in my opinion highly overrated) three-star Jamin in Paris. The recipe comes from Robuchon’s book Ma Cuisine pour vous, and is not to be confused with the version offered in Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joël Robuchon. The two are substantially different. Among other things, Robuchon specifies particularly waxy potatoes, while Wells counsels floury ones; Robuchon cooks the potatoes peeled, Wells unpeeled; and while Wells notes that the purée may be made up to an hour in advance and kept warm in a double boiler, Robuchon warns, “la purée n’attend pas et ne se réchauffe pas” (the purée doesn’t wait and doesn’t reheat).
Place potatoes in a kettle or large saucepan, then cover with cold water to a height of about 1” above the potatoes. Add about
Quickly drain potatoes and pass them through the fine sieve of a food mill, then return them to the pot.
Cook purée briefly over very low flame, stirring constantly, to evaporate moisture, then add the butter and beat it vigorously into the purée with a wooden spatula.‡
Stir in hot milk little by little, mixing very well as you do so. Add salt to taste.§ Serve immediately.
© 1992 Colman Andrews. All rights reserved.