Julia Child Garlic Mashed Potatoes


  • 2 heads garlic, about 30 cloves
  • 4 Tb butter
  • 2 Tb flour
  • 1 cup boiling milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 2 1/2 Lbs. baking potatoes
  • 2 1/2 quart enameled saucepan
  • 4 Tb softened butter
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 3 to 4 Tb whipping cream
  • 4 Tb minced parsley


Two whole heads of garlic will seem like a horrifying amount if you have

not made this type of recipe before. But if less is used, you will regret it, for the

long cooking of the garlic remove all of its harsh strength, leaving just a pleasant

flavor. Garlic mashed potatoes go with roast lamb, pork, goose, or sausages.

Although both garlic sauce and potatoes may be cooked in advance, they

should be combined only at the last minute; the completed puree loses its nice

consistency if it sits too long over heat, or if it is cooked and then reheated.

For 6 to 8 people

Separate the garlic cloves. Drop into boiling water, and boil 2 minutes. Drain. Peel.

Cook the garlic slowly with the butter in the covered saucepan for about 20 minutes or until very tender but not browned.

Blend in the flour and stir over low heat until it froths with the butter for 2 minutes without browning. Off heat, beat in the boiling milk and seasonings. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Rub the sauce through a sieve or puree it in the electric blender. Simmer for 2 minutes more.

* May be done ahead of time. Dot top of sauce with bits of butter to keep a skin from forming. Reheat when needed.

Peel and quarter the potatoes. Drop in boiling salted water to cover, and boil until tender. Drain immediately and put through a potato ricer. Place the hot puree in the saucepan and beat with the spatula or spoon for several minutes over moderate heat to evaporate moisture. As soon as the puree begins to form a film of the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time.Beat in salt and pepper to taste.

(*) If not used immediately, set aside uncovered. To reheat, cover and set over boiling water, beating frequently.

Shortly before serving, beat the hot garlic sauce vigorously into the hot potatoes. Beat in the cream by spoonfuls but do not thin out the puree too much. Beat in the parsley. Correct seasoning. Turn into hot vegetable dish.


Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1961)