How to Make Celeriac Mash

an over head view of a white bowl with a swirl of celeriac mash topped with gravy and sliced onions. A beige napkin is beside the bowl

There’s a lot of butter in this.

By Erin Henderson

I knew this dish was a winner when I saw a notoriously picky friend licking the serving spoon.

Don’t worry, she wasn’t going rogue at the dinner table, she was cleaning up from a dinner I prepared for her and a few friends at her lake house in Ontario’s cottage country.

But it was probably the best compliment I have ever received about anything I have ever cooked.

Celeriac, or celery root, as it’s commonly known in Ontario, is literally the root of the crunchy green celery stalks you already know. It’s a fairly ugly bulb – yellowish-brown in colour, knobby, with a tentacle-like end, and often covered in dusty dirt.

It tastes incredible, like a creamy cross between mild celery and sweet parsnip. It works roasted or seared, and is absolutely transcendent as a mash. On its own the structure is a bit weak, so it’s best to fortify the purée with a few potatoes.

This isn’t a tough recipe, but does have a few steps including cooking the potatoes and celeriac separately, which, because of their consistency, I must insist upon.

So yes, it’s an extra step or two over the standard mash – but this also over-delivers from the standard.  

Celeriac Mash

Not only is this recipe indulgent for celebratory feasts, but the celeriac also loans a bit of lightness, both in taste and texture, to a rich meal (despite the enormous amounts of butter.)

And, in true TWS ethos, it can be made ahead – an elegant time saver for the over-scheduled host. Simply store well sealed in the fridge, for up to three days, and reheat with a bit more butter and milk to soften back into a smooth puree for serving.

I serve this alongside holiday turkey or my favourite roast chicken.

Makes: about 10 servings
Chef level: moderate

Ingredients: 
  • 2 small or 1 large celery root (roughly 6 cups) peeled and chopped
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 cup cream
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
How to Make It: 
  1. Into a large pot, add celeriac and garlic. Pour in chicken stock to cover (if you don’t have enough, top up with water until vegetables are covered)
  2. Add in a knob of butter, a pinch of salt and bring to a boil, then simmer until celeriac is cooked through and soft, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, add the potatoes and a pinch of salt, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook until very soft, about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes when ready and push through a ricer into a bowl.
  5. Drain the celeriac, reserving the stock.
  6. Return the celeriac and garlic to the pot, adding in about ½ cup of the reserved stock, another knob of butter and a splash of the milk.
  7. With an immersion blender, puree the celeriac and garlic until smooth.
  8. Add in the potatoes, stirring to combine with the rest of the butter and about half the milk.
  9. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  10. Top with the remaining milk to keep moist and keep over the lowest heat while putting the rest of the dinner together.
  11. Stir just before serving.
Wine Pairing:

As part of a larger holiday feast, I like to go with fruity reds or creamy whites.

To shake things up a bit from ordinary, look to a richly textured white from the Languedoc in France. Typically blends of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Macabeu with notes of stone fruit, mineral and subtle spice.

 

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