Jan’s Caramelized Shallot and Chive Mashed Potatoes

The latest installment in my Thanksgiving sides feature is a dish that you can, and should, eat all year. Caramelized Shallot and Chive Mashed Potatoes will change the way you look at the humble potato forever. I learned this recipe from Jan, my former boss and mentor. Not only did she teach me so many recipes that I now cook almost weekly, she also taught me a tremendous amount about being a good businesswoman, friend, and future wife. I had the privilege to work with Jan for a little less than a year, and I wish that I could have spent more time under her wing. I miss seeing her smile and hearing her big laugh fill up our little office everyday. She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer so I’m dedicating this post to her.

scmp mixing

Jan always said that in order to change people’s minds, you have to slowly introduce subtle changes over time. These potatoes are a great example of that. The mashed potato base is a very simple recipe. There’s no sour cream or tangy buttermilk. Just cream, butter, and salt. Then you add chives which really isn’t that uncommon. After the chives, you mix in ribbons of sweet, roasty toasty shallots. This may make people’s heads turn, but because the mashed potato base and additional chives are so familiar, people won’t write off the dish all together. I think that after one bite, even your pickiest eaters will change their mind. Gravy compliments all of the flavors so beautifully. It really would be a shame for your amazingly rich gravy to sit on top of ho-hum potatoes. Jan also taught me that shallots are very forgiving. So don’t worry about overcooking them, because it’s virtually impossible. The onion’s milder cousin can really take the heat. This recipe is also very customizable. I went a little conservative with the amount of chives and shallots, but you can tailor it your liking. Max said that each bite was 80% perfect mashed potato and 20% sweet onion goodness. That right there makes me want to get another bowl.

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scmp ingredients

Jan’s Caramelized Shallot and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Serves 10


  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons of room-temperature butter, divided
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 7 large potatoes), peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half, heated
  • 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste

1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. Add sliced shallots and saute on medium low until they soften, about 5 minutes. Once they begin to brown, cook on low for 15 minutes, or until they’re fully caramelized. Stir often.

2. While the shallots are cooking, boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until they are fork tender. When the potatoes are done, drain them thoroughly. No one wants soggy potatoes.

3. Transfer the potatoes to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the potatoes on medium-low until they are coarsely mashed. Then, slowly pour the warmed cream while the mixer is on low. Then add 4 tablespoons of butter. Once the potatoes are mashed to your liking, turn off the mixer and fold in  the chives by hand. Then pour the shallots into the potatoes, brown butter and all. Fold the shallots into the potatoes. Be sure to fully incorporate them. Taste the potatoes and season accordingly. scmp finished 5

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