Jen’s Secret Mashed Potatoes

by Sarah on April 14, 2014

Once upon a time, about one hundred years ago, I used to go out with this guy that lived in San Francisco with his friend.  His friends’ girlfriend and I became friends and we’d both visit on the weekends.  The boys lived in a Victorian that had been divided into 2 or 3 flats–I don’t remember exactly–but I suppose that doesn’t really matter.  There were some neighbors upstairs that we were friendly with and once or twice we did a barbecue or a pot-luck sort of affair.

One of the neighbor gals name was Jen, and she made these mashed potatoes that we all thought were really good.  I think when she made them she added cheese, so I will try that next time.  This was before the big ‘garlic mashed potato’ craze of 2002, so the garlic and onion was unexpected.  This is also around the time that I began to get interested in cooking on my own so Jen kindly wrote down the recipe for me.  I’ve been carrying it around for the last twenty years!  I can’t believe I had it that long and never made it….so I finally did.

They are really rich with the addition of sour cream and egg.  I’m not sure if the egg is what makes them so secret, but these would be lovely next to your Easter ham, Thanksgiving turkey or a nice prime rib.  I have no idea whatever happened to Jen, but I hope she is well and we can all thank her for her sumptuous secret potatoes!

Jen’s Secret Mashed Potatoes


  • 6-8 potatoes, roughly peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 pint sour cream
  • 3-4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • freshly ground pepper, Lawry's seasoned or regular salt
  • Optional: shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Splash olive oil


  • Boil potatoes until tender in a heavy bottomed pot, like a Dutch oven. Drain in a colander and leave there for a minute.
  • Heat Dutch oven over medium-low heat and melt the butter. Add a splash of olive oil. Add the onion and saute until softened. Add garlic and cook until soft and fragrant.
  • Return potatoes to the pot and mash with a hand masher or an electric beater if you wish. Add the butter, sour cream and milk and continue mashing. Add the egg and quickly mash so the egg does not scramble.
  • Season with Lawry's seasoned salt (if you wish), salt and pepper.
  • Stir in some shredded cheese if you wish. (I think some Parmesan, sharp cheddar or Gruyere would be lovely.

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