Joel Robuchon’s Famous Potato Mash

Extract from the Great Grand and Famous Chefs:
“At a time when French chefs barely deigned to serve the humble tuber, Robuchon’s pomme puree were a revelation, if not a revolution.”

When we travelled to France last year, M. and I stayed in a hotel in Clichy, and still very jet-lagged were flicking through some cable channels until we fell on a documentary about Joel Robuchon. “Plus de beurre”, he was telling his assistant, “plus de beeeeeeurre!!!” (“More butter, MORE BUTTER!!!”), there must have been at least 500g of butter in the mash already, but he wanted more Beurre! That became the subject of a fair few laughs after that and as a souvenir, M. gave me the Complete Robuchon recipe book for Christmas.

The big book of Robuchon

Christmas is long gone now and it is well overdue that I try on a recipe from this beautiful book. It is 600 pages, no pictures, no frills, just lots of recipes, all French classics, including the famous Potato Mash with Butter.

It seems to me like a good one to start with, especially since I just got myself a brand new and shiny food mill that I can’t wait to try. We go to Eveleigh Markets and buy 1kg of nice potatoes (according to the Potato seller, the Necta are ideal for mashing), as well as a few handful of fresh mushrooms (did I mention I was obsessed with mushrooms at the moment?) to accompany the mash. We choose some Chestnuts, Swiss Browns, Pine mushrooms, King Browns… unfortunately the Slippery Jacks (the closest we can find here to the Porcini/Cep mushrooms) were not available yet.

Mushrooms from Funghi @ Eveleigh Markets

Back at home I put the potatoes unpeeled in a saucepan with cold salted water, bring them to a boil and let them cook for about half an hour.

Necta from Highlands Gourmet Potatoes @ Eveleigh Markets

Then I drain them, peel them and start processing them in the food mill over a sauce pan, which is a fair bit of work actually, I work up quite a sweat, but it is for a good cause, as the mash coming out of the mill is very fine indeed. I whisk vigorously the mash in the sauce pan over a medium heat to dry out the mash a bit.

My new Baby

In the meantime I bring 250ml of Milk to the boil in a separate saucepan.

I turn the heat under the mash on low and incorporate the 250g of chilled chopped butter bit by bit, stirring energetically.

I add then the hot milk, still stirring briskly, until the milk is absorbed.

In the original recipe, they suggest putting the mash through a very fine sieve for an even finer puree, but at this stage I am exhausted from all that energetic and brisk stirring and can’t be bothered! (Don’t know how they do in professional kitchens).

In the meantime I have also pan-fried the mushrooms in butter with garlic, onions and parsley, then added white wine and cream, always a winner! Et voila!

Robuchon’s Pomme Purée & Mushroom Fricassée

There’s potato mash everywhere in the kitchen, on myself, it’s quite a messy business, but the puree is lovely. It does contain a fair bit of butter, so I guess that helps! It’s also very fine and surprisingly light.

Not something for every day, but I will happily make it again during winter. Look forward to the day I will taste the real original mash in one of Robuchon’s Ateliers, but that won’t be any time soon unfortunately… Good day to you all!

17 responses to “Joel Robuchon’s Famous Potato Mash

  1. What a great dish! mashed with mushrooms 🙂 It was nice to meet you too. You have a nice blog with beautiful photos.

  2. I saw a show where Heston Blumental was showing how he makes mashed potatoes and the amount of butter that went into that was astounding! Something like a 50/50 mix of potato and butter.

    This must have been really luxurious.

  3. Thank you Ellie! 🙂

    Hi Simon, it was luxurious! But 50/50?!! That means I would have to put … 1kg of butter!!! Mmmh… that actually sounds good, will try that next time. Plus de beeeeeurre!!! 😉

  4. Françoise Beeston

    Hum !!! J’en ai l’eau à la bouche ! Quelle belle purée !!

    Tous ces petits champignons ont l’air bien sympathiques aussi ! !

  5. Purée que ça a l’air bien bon!

    Coucou S., c’est un réel plaisir de découvrir ton cooking blog (thanks to M. who mentionned it in his blog).

    Alex (best man@Céline&Nicolas’s wedding)

  6. mmm butter mmm mash oh man you made me so hungry!

  7. I can tell from your pic that that mash potato must’ve been velvety and divine, and oh, the mushrooms look so delicious too. I love that more and more wild varieties are slowly becoming available here. You must be forlorn at the limited selection in Oz!

  8. Hey S,

    Which camera do you use to take such amazing pics. ? Love the dish, and winter is coming up so…

  9. Found you on a Google search for Robuchon’s potatoes. We just had them at his L’Atelier in Las Vegas with the seasonal tasting menu and thought we’d died and gone to heaven when we dipped into the potatoes. They’re amazing and I’m going to give your version a go tonight for dinner. Thanks for taking the time to put this up.

  10. I admit to trying a similar ratio of butter to potatoes and the result was amazing! But after one serving of this… le regime! 🙂

  11. Yum! looks like great mash. Will definitely have to try that one.

    Thanks for using my familys potatoes:) The necta’s are really great. Dad entered them into the Roberston Show – which is the main show for potato growers (after all Robertson is the home of the “big potato”) and we won several awards for that variety.

    Love the photos too.


  12. i’ve never worked with onions, but my husband loves them….can you post a recipe for your mushrooms?

  13. i meant mushrooms!

  14. Pingback: Potato Puree a la Joel Robuchon - Sass & Veracity — Sass & Veracity

  15. I m big fan of chef robuchon; i m also in cooking profession and my dream is to work with chef robuchon…

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