Hay Smoked Ratte Potatoes with Crème Fraiche and Chives

Two Ways to Take Mashed Potatoes to the Next Level

Chef Barry prepares the popular side dish with chicken truffle sauce and smoked hay.

Just in time for the holidays, the latest episode of Epicurious' 4 Levels series showcases mashed potatoes three ways. Director of Culinary Research and Development Barry Tonkinson elevates his creamy and rich take by smoking hay.

"Contrary to popular belief, you never want to boil a potato," Chef Barry says. "Simmer[ing] allows them to cook through very evenly."

He sources French ratte potatoes, which are rich, decadent and creamy. Using cold water prevents the potatoes from being mushy on the outside and raw on the inside, and the pro approach of passing the potatoes through a tamis with a bowl scraper results in a fine, smooth texture. 

Chef Barry smokes the potatoes over hay for a subtle grassy note and unique flavor, cultures his own butter for a slightly sour element and adds creme fraiche for a tangy component. He sources smoked Maldon salt from England and Tellicherry pepper from India and uses a piping bag for plating. Finally, his chicken-based gravy has a luxurious flavor from black truffles and residual sweetness from Madeira wine.

Watch the video to see Chef Barry demonstrate his techniques and get the recipe for earthy, fluffy, aromatic mashed potatoes below.


Hay Smoked Ratte Potatoes with Crème Fraiche and Chives

Yields 6 servings


  • 600 grams ratte potatoes, peeled
  • 200 grams cream (1) 
  • 928 grams heavy cream (2)
  • 245 grams yogurt
  • 1 handful hay, dampened with water
  • 150 grams crème fraiche
  • 2 grams chives, finely sliced
  • Tellicherry black pepper, as needed
  • Smoked Maldon sea salt, as needed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Ice


  1. Place heavy cream (2) and yogurt together and whisk until smooth.
  2. Cover with cheesecloth and tie with an elastic band.
  3. Leave to stand at room temperature (69-72 F) for 36 hours until cream is rich and tangy.
  4. Refrigerate.
  5. Place mixture into a KitchenAid stand mixer and process to agitate the cream until buttermilk and butterfat have separated.
  6. Strain through a chinois lined with cheesecloth and squeeze well removing all traces of buttermilk.
  7. Place butterfat into a bowl of iced water and continue to squeeze to remove buttermilk and to chill the butterfat.
  8. Roll into a log and shape with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set.
  9. Place peeled ratte potatoes into a pan of water. Season well.
  10. Bring to a boil and return to a simmer. Do not boil the potatoes, they will cook unevenly and become waterlogged.
  11. Strain potatoes once cooked.
  12. Pass the potatoes through a tamis or drum sieve.
  13. Place potatoes onto a small tray.
  14. Place dampened hay into the base of a hotel pan. Place potatoes on top.
  15. Place lid over hotel pan and smoke on medium heat.
  16. Fill the chamber with smoke, turn off heat and leave for 8 minutes.
  17. Dice cultured butter.
  18. Place potatoes into a saucepan.
  19. On a low heat begin adding cold cultured butter one piece at a time until smooth and buttery.
  20. Add cream (1) and incorporate until smooth.
  21. Add crème fraiche.
  22. Season with smoked Maldon sea salt and Tellicherry black pepper.
  23. Once seasoned perfectly add chives.
  24. Place mixture into a piping bag, pipe onto plate and serve immediately.
  25. Garnish with chive if desired.

For the chicken truffle sauce:


  • 8 chicken wings
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced
  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 100 grams Rainwater Madeira
  • 200 grams fortified chicken stock
  • 1/2 black truffle, diced
  • Butter, unsalted
  • Salt
  • Grapeseed oil


  1. Prepare chicken wings by breaking into one-inch pieces.
  2. Heat saucepan, add grapeseed oil, brown chicken wings until crispy and caramelized.
  3. Remove chicken wings. Drain off excess fat.
  4. On low heat, sweat shallot, garlic and thyme.
  5. Add browned chicken wings and deglaze with Madeira.
  6. Reduce by two thirds. Add chicken stock.
  7. Reduce to sauce consistency. Strain through chinois.
  8. Add diced truffle to sauce.
  9. Gently montée cold butter into sauce. Season to taste and spoon atop mashed potatoes.

Study pro techniques with Chef Barry in ICE's Culinary Arts program.

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