I love a lot of things about Mrs. Cratchit: her energy, her spunk, and the obvious love and respect she has for her husband. However, more than anything, I love how Mrs. Cratchit sees her family’s financial status not as a burden but as a challenge to be met. Scrooge notes that the Cratchit meal is quite modest in its size and components, almost inadequate for a family of that size. However, to Mrs. Cratchit, this simply means that the quality of the meal is that much more important. She spares no effort in infusing the basic fair—goose, potatoes, and applesauce—with every bit of deliciousness her repertoire of cooking techniques has to offer.
That in mind, I decided to make Mrs. Cratchit’s mashed potatoes for our Christmas Carol side dish. These elegant baked mashed potatoes don’t require any fancy ingredients or expensive tools…just a little extra effort to make a humble potato shine.
P.S. You can find the original recipe here.
“Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed, as Mrs. Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn’t ate it all at last! Yet everyone had had enough, and the youngest Cratchits in particular, were steeped in sage and onion to the eyebrows!”
— A Christmas Carol
- 3 lb russet potatoes (for me, this was about 5 medium potatoes)
- 10 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 6 egg yolks
- fresh parsley (for garnish)
- Makes 4 servings
- Preheat your oven to 275°. Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters.
- Add the potatoes to a cooking pot and fill the pot with cold water until the potatoes are completely submerged.
- Boil the potatoes on medium-high heat for approximately 25 minutes or until fork tender, taking care not to over-boil.
- Pour out the water and let the potatoes sit in the hot pot for a bit (this will allow the excess moisture to evaporate away. You want the potatoes to be a bit on the dry side when you begin to mash them). After 3-5 minutes, coarsely mash the potatoes.
- Add the potatoes to a food processor or blender and blend until they are super smooth.
- Add the butter, salt, and pepper and blend until thoroughly combined.
- Add the egg yolks and stir until just combined.
- Allow the mixture to cool for 3-5 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, pour it into a large plastic bag. Seal the bag shut (pushing out any excess air), and cut one of the bottom corners away. You’re ready to start piping!
- Pipe the mashed potatoes into oven-safe ramekins in an ascending spiral pattern.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through, then turn up the heat to 400° and bake until the tops begin to brown (about 15 minutes).
- Garnish with bits of fresh parsley and serve warm with Mrs. Cratchit’s Sage and Onion Roasted Drumsticks!