Playing Jacques Pépin’s Wine Merchant Steak

What better way to add a little fun and romantic flavor to your meal than by cooking a recipe from the master, chef Jacques Pépin? Check out his go-to and easy-to-make mashed potatoes recipe, cooked exclusively to celebrate Rachael Ray's 1,500th episode!

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4 large garlic cloves (peeled or not; see the headnote)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2) stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Serves: 6

Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks (2- to 2 1/2-inch pieces). Drop the potatoes into a pot, cover with water, and add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and boil gently for 22 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Place a pot underneath a food mill to catch the cooking liquid (you can use it in stocks, soups, or bread) and drain the potatoes in the mill, then push them through the mill into a bowl. Add the butter and mix in thoroughly, then add the milk, mixing again until incorporated. Mix in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper and serve.

Leftover potatoes can be reheated in a microwave oven, fried as potato cakes in a skillet, or added to soup as a flavor enhancer and thickener.