Mashed Sweet Potatoes
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
Mashed sweet potatoes are as much at home on the family dinner table alongside pork chops as they are on the celebratory Thanksgiving spread. We wanted a simple, slightly rich side with deep, earthy sweetness. For even cooking, we cut the potatoes into even slices and cooked them under pressure along with a cup of water. In just 15 minutes, the pressure cooker had done a great job of turning the potatoes ultratender while maintaining their bright orange color and concentrating their earthy flavor. After draining the potatoes and returning them to the pot, some quick work with a masher turned them into the side we were after. All they needed was some butter, cream, and sugar, and they were ready for the table.
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1. HIGH PRESSURE FOR 15 MINUTES: Combine sweet potatoes, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in pressure-cooker pot. Lock pressure-cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
2. QUICK RELEASE PRESSURE: Remove pot from heat. Quick release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
3. BEFORE SERVING: Drain sweet potatoes in colander and toss gently to remove excess water. Return drained sweet potatoes to now-empty pot and mash with potato masher until mostly smooth. Fold in butter, cream, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Indian Spices
After draining potatoes in step 3, melt butter in now-empty pot, add 3/4 teaspoon garam masala, and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, return drained potatoes to pot and mash as directed. Add 1/2 cup currants to pot with heavy cream and sugar.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon and Sugar
Increase amount of sugar to 3 tablespoons. After draining potatoes in step 3, add butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to now-empty pot and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Off heat, return drained potatoes to pot and continue with recipe as directed.
MAKING MASHED SWEET POTATOES IN A PRESSURE COOKER
Sweet potatoes are typically unevenly shaped and odd sizes, so cutting them crosswise into slices of even thickness helps ensure even cooking without requiring a whole lot of knife work.
We cook the potatoes under pressure with a full cup of water. This also ensures even cooking and prevents scorching, but you can’t leave that water in the pot or you’ll end up with a watery, loose side dish. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander.
The pressure cooker does a great job of turning the potatoes tender in just 15 minutes. There’s no need to break out the food processor for this step; a potato masher does a great job of mashing them to the right consistency without requiring a lot of effort.
Butter, cream, and sugar are all the additions this classic side dish needs before it’s ready for the table.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes, you can double the recipe; increase the pressurized cooking time to 20 minutes.
Can I substitute yams for the sweet potatoes?
Yes. Yams range in color from white to light yellow to pink, so obviously you won’t end up with the classic orange-colored side dish, but the recipe will still work fine. Just substitute an equal amount of yams and prep and cook them as directed for the sweet potatoes.
Can I substitute milk for the cream?
Yes, either milk or half-and-half can be substituted for the cream. We don’t recommend using skim milk, however, which will result in thin, watery potatoes.
Do I need to alter the recipe for a 6-quart electric pressure cooker?
Yes, quick release the pressure immediately after the pressurized cooking time; do not let the cooker switch to the warm setting. Be sure to use a potato masher that won’t scratch nonstick surfaces.
Recipe from our partners at America’s Test Kitchen