Mashed Potato and Carrot with Caramelized Onions is a delicious twist on your normal mashed potato side. Perfect to make in advance for a dinner party.
The story behind Mashed Potato and Carrot with Caramelized Onions
Sound odd? Mashed Potato and Carrot with Caramelized Onions? It's so not odd, and oh so good. It's also a great way to incorporate another vegetable into this most popular side dish.
Way back in the way back machine, when I was married to my former; his mother, a lovely lady (now sadly deceased) whom I still hold dear to this day, made a dish close to this for dinner.
Being a war bride from Belgium, she had culinary skills and dishes that were not the same as my mother, also a war bride, but from Germany. And since Germany invaded Belgium during WWII, there was also a little of "no love lost" with her towards my mother, and Germans in general. It took me a while to win her over, but win I did, and cooking together had a great deal to do with that.
Jeanne cooked mostly to the new American, from magazines like Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal, however, she occasionally made something from "back home". Mixing vegetables with potatoes was quite common on the farm where she was raised. When she made this dish, she would sauté the onions along with the carrots in some butter, then add the potatoes, cook until soft and mash it together. I loved the color, texture, and flavor the carrots gave the dish, but always thought the onions could use a little more work. So I changed it up a bit and caramelize the onion then add them at the end.
The caramelized onions impart such a deep rich flavor. So YUMMY!
This is a beautiful side dish anytime, but especially great for a dinner party. When I cook Mashed Potato, Carrot, and Caramelized Onions for a dinner party, I make them in advance and then put them into individual ramekins that I coat with butter and panko breadcrumbs. Easily made a day or two in advance, this simple side is then reheated in a 375ºF oven for about 30 minutes and then turned out onto the plate. Prepared this way, they are slightly crunchy on the outside, and creamy on the inside.
For a daily dish, I simply prepare the potato, carrot, and onions and put some sautéed panko breadcrumbs over the top, the same flavor, easily done, and still delish!
I served these with Lindy's German Style Short Ribs. Perfect pairing.
Mashed Potato and Carrot with Caramelized Onions
- 6 large russet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 large onions diced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ½ cup cream or half and half or as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Additional butter at room temperature, to coat the ramekins (if making for a dinner party)
- Unseasoned bread crumbs or panko to coat the ramekins if making for a dinner party
- Put the potatoes and carrots together in a large pot, cover with water by 2 inches and boil until the potatoes are soft.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet, add the onions and saute over medium-low heat until brown and caramelized
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain well. Add them along with the carrots back into the pan and shake over a low flame to dry them out; then add the remaining butter and mash them, adding cream or half and half as necessary to make a soft mashed potato. (The carrots will likely remain in pieces you can see, this is fine and how it should be). Stir in the caramelized onions.
- In a small sauté pan, add the butter and panko, cook over low heat until the breadcrumbs are toasty. Sprinkle over the mashed potatoes and serve.
- If making for a dinner party: Coat 8 ramekins with softened butter, then coat with breadcrumbs. Spoon the potato mixture into the ramekin, smoothing out the tops. (Make-up to 2 days in advance, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator).
- When ready to serve, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and place on a cookie sheet. Remove the plastic from the tops and place in a hot 375°F oven for about 30 minutes or until hot. Gently run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, then using pot holders, turn the timbale out onto the plate, shaking gently to release.