Who would think no cream or milk in these potatoes—but maybe the pat of butter helps.
4 russet (baking or Idaho) potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thickly sliced
3 or 4garlic cloves, smashed
Salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1tablespooncold unsalted butter
Place the potatoes, garlic, and salt in a pan with enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Partially cover and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the potatoes are very tender when poked with a knife, about 30 minutes.
Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Press the potatoes and garlic through a food mill, or push through a coarse sieve with a large metal spoon or wooden pestle, into a bowl. Moisten the puree with enough (usually ½ to 1 cup) of the reserved cooking liquid to make a creamy consistency—these potatoes should be somewhat runny. Season with pepper, a little nutmeg, and more salt, if needed; stir in the butter. Serve hot.