You need equal amounts of potatoes and sweet potatoes and a little less than half their amount in carrots. Usually I start with about 3 lbs each of potatoes and sweet potatoes and 1¼ lbs carrots for 6-8 large servings. Peel the sweet potatoes and carrots but not the potatoes. I like red-skinned potatoes for extra color. But Walter’s sister brought us these beautiful “German Butterball” potatoes from her and her husband’s garden up in northern Minnesota. They have golden yellow flesh and hardly any skin. And they look really lovely in the mix.
Cut all the root vegetables into somewhat equal pieces. They can be big chunks. I only use the fat ends of the carrots and save the skinny ends for another meal.
Put all the vegetables in a large stockpot, salt and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are just tender.
I usually return the vegetables to the stockpot to mash in batches. I prefer chunky potatoes, so I mash by hand. If you like whipped potatoes, then use an electric mixer after you have mashed by hand.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter per pound of vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. I add cream-style horseradish to taste as well. But you could use fresh horseradish, fresh ginger, roasted garlic, fresh chives, apple or orange pulp, crumbled bacon or even dried cranberries to taste… whatever you like to flavor your potatoes.
You can also use buttermilk in place of the butter. This size recipe – 7¼ - 8 lbs of vegetables – would need about ¾ cup of buttermilk. I suppose the buttermilk is less fatty than butter. The only downside: the buttermilk often separates later, so refrigerated leftovers look watery. No problem. Just stir everything together and reheat.
That’s it. Yummy comfort food. Last night I served Confetti Mashed Potatoes with leftover salmon fillet and steamed broccoli. Very pretty and pretty healthy.
This is still a starchy dish, but potatoes, especially with their skins, are high in potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Both sweet potatoes and carrots are high in vitamin A, beta-carotene and fiber. Plus sweet potatoes have a good amount of vitamins B5 and B6, and cooked carrots have potassium and vitamin K. So you don’t have to feel as guilty when you have a heaping serving!